Distracted driving is dangerous. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) statistics indicate that in the past decade, distracted driving has taken over US roadways, endangering the lives of distracted drivers, their passengers, pedestrians and other road users.
Distracted driving can be defined as engaging in any activity that takes your attention from the driving. It could be visual attention, mental or manual attention such as taking the hands of the wheel while driving, texting, or even falling asleep.
According to NHTSA, 3450 lives were lost due to distracted driving in 2016 alone. What is even more shocking is the fact that most drivers know the risks of driving while distracted but they do it anyway hoping that the worst will not happen to them. A recent distracted driving study showed that there is a concerning detachment between how drivers regard their own behavior and how they actually perform behind the wheel.
What can be done to reduce distracted driving and inspire drivers to become model motorists?
Here are the top 3 things we can learn from distracted driving research.
- Distracted Driving Is Prevalent Among Teens
While distracted driving is risky and life-threatening for everyone, it is more prevalent among teens and young drivers. AAA Foundation for traffic safety found that nearly 3 in 10 non-motorists who were involved in a speeding-related teen driver accident died in 2016.
They also found out that the fatality rates for individuals involved in a car accident with a teen driver carrying only teenagers in the car increased by 51% as compared to those in which the teenager was driving alone. Texting, talking and other mobile phone use behind the wheel contributed to dangerous driving.
- Taking Precautions To Reduce Distracted Driving Can Prevent Accidents
Distracted driving is a major concern in the United States. One great thing we can learn from the research is that some simple steps drivers take to avoid distracted driving can go a long way in preventing accidents.
The 2018 travelers Risk Index indicates that 12% of American drivers use safety features such as ‘do not disturb’ and the ‘auto-reply’ function on their phones to avoid distracted driving. Other tips to reduce distracted driving include; avoiding the urge to eat and drink while driving, styling your hair, applying makeup behind the wheel or browsing the internet.
You can also avoid being a distraction to other people. If you know a friend or family member is driving, avoid calling or texting them before they reach a safe location.
- Legal Help Is Available For Victims of Distracted Driving Accidents
While taking the necessary precautions to avoid distracted driving can help reduce accidents other road users might not be as careful as you are. Texting while driving is punishable by law and distracted drivers should be held accountable for their actions. If you or your loved one was injured in a crash caused by a distracted driver, you should know that you are covered by the law and a car accident lawyer can help you get compensation for your losses and personal injuries.