Distracted Driving Statistics
The more technology becomes available inside cars, the more distractions drivers experience. The Insurance Information Institute has compiled distracted driving facts that show:
- Roughly 1 in 5 auto accidents in the U.S. are caused by a distracted driver, leading to property damage, injury, and death.
- Between 13-14% of fatal crashes are associated with cell phone usage each year.
- The age group 16-24 is consistently highest with use of handheld cell phones while driving (this age group includes the newest and most inexperienced drivers).
- Drivers are 23 times more likely to crash if they send a text while driving.
- Texting while driving is banned in most states and the District of Columbia (D.C.) in an effort to curb these numbers.
Distracted driving problems aren’t just an issue with teen or new drivers. One moment of distraction while operating a motor vehicle for any driver could mean life-long injuries or death. For those who were injured in car accidents caused by distracted driving, you may need an attorney to access resources beyond what car insurance companies offer.
How To Minimize Distractions While Driving
All motorists are susceptible to distractions while driving. To give yourself and your loved ones (especially teen drivers) the best environment to stay alert on the road, here are some important tips.
- Limit cell phone use: Even if you’re using a smartphone for navigation, utilizing hands-free devices or setting your phone on airplane mode can help reduce distractions.
- Clear your dashboard and window views: Having items on your dashboard can cause reflections in your windshield, and danglers on your rearview mirror or decals in any window can cause distraction.
- Limit passenger interaction: When transporting adults, insist on calm behavior and interactions. When driving with children, providing them with backseat activities can allow you to focus on safe driving.
- Avoid eating when driving: Finishing your breakfast during your morning commute or digging into a fast food bag before arriving home is tempting. However, the distraction and mess that food can cause while you should be aware of traffic could be gravely serious.
- Stop multitasking: What is a great skill in the office or the kitchen is dangerous on the road—multitasking while driving could include personal grooming, catching up on texts, sorting music or podcast entertainment, reviewing your to-do list, or any task other than driving.
Basically, do your best to minimize distractions, and keep your head in the game. Sometimes the best defense is a good offense, and it’s particularly true when it comes to defensive driving. The more alert you are, the more you can proactively respond to other drivers or dangerous elements on the road.