Distracted driving is a serious problem on the roads, and it’s one you can’t ignore. Up to 25 percent of motor vehicle collisions resulting in fatalities are caused by distractions in or around vehicles.
Teenagers are the demographic most prone to become distracted while driving. They may be more familiar with texting, using smartphones, calling friends while driving and doing other things that take their eyes and minds off the road. Since teens have less driving experience than adults, this makes them most likely to crash as a result of becoming distracted. About 58 percent of teen collisions are a result of distractions, according to TeenSafe.com.
How many people are affected by distracted drivers?
Each day, about nine people die because of crashes involving a distracted driver. In total, 391,000 injuries per year are caused by distracted-driving accidents in the United States.
How can you tell if the driver was distracted at the time of the collision?
It might not possible to find out if a person drove distracted unless he or she admits to it. However, authorities can pull phone records and time stamps to find out if a driver was on the phone at the time of a crash.
Texting and phone calls aren’t the only kinds of distractions, which can make it nearly impossible to prove that a driver was inattentive. However, eating, talking to others or getting lost in thought on the road can cause a collision as easily as phone use. Those kinds of distractions make it difficult to know the true number of collisions caused by distracted drivers. It’s estimated that it’s much higher than the above statistics.
Who is the most likely to get into a distracted-driving crash?
Crashes are most likely to be caused by individuals age 16 to 19. In fact, car accidents are the top killer of teens in the United States. Maybe correctly, distracted driving is known as the “new drunk driving” on the roads of America, because distracted driving makes individuals just as dangerous as drunk drivers are.
The sad part about distracted driving is that not causing a collision can lead to more poor behaviors behind the wheel. Drivers figure that since nothing bad occurred, nothing bad will happen in the future. That myth can then cause serious crashes later when teens or other drivers overestimate their abilities and underestimate the risks of distracted driving.
With 80 percent of drivers admitting to dangerous driving at least once, it is wise to talk to your family members about the risks caused by unsafe behaviors behind the wheel. With knowledge, it’s possible to reduce the likelihood of these collisions.