Distracted driving is not a new issue.
However, in this digital age, it has become a more serious issue. The following
10 distracted driving statistics put a whole new perspective on this scary
to distraction.gov, in 2011, 10 percent of all crashes with injuries in the
United States were due to distraction. These distractions include everything from
talking or texting on phones to using GPS devices to watching videos.
to a 2013 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) survey, almost
50 percent of U.S. drivers admit to answering incoming phone calls while
driving. Approximately 24 percent of drivers also make calls while driving. This translates to 102 million
drivers receiving phone calls and 50 million drivers making phone calls while
to a 2013 NHTSA survey, in 2011 in the United States, more than 3,300 people
were killed and 387,000 injured in car crashes that involved a distracted
driver. Leaving your
cell phone in a pocket or purse can save not only the lives of others, but also
to a 2011 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) survey, 31 percent
of U.S. drivers ages 18 to 64 had read or sent text or email messages while
driving at least one time during the previous month. Additionally, almost half of all
U.S. high school students age 16 and
older text or email while driving. Some distracted driving activities pull
drivers’ attentions away from the road more often and for longer periods of
time than other distractions. Texting is one of those activities.
to a 2011 CDC survey, there is a link between drinking and driving and drinking
while texting. High
school aged teenagers who text while driving are almost twice as likely to ride
with a driver who has been drinking and five times as likely to drink and drive
than high school aged teenagers who do not text while driving. Additionally,
high school aged teenagers who regularly text while driving are more likely to
drink and drive themselves or ride with drivers who have been drinking than
those who do not text.
to distraction.gov via NHTSA, drivers under 20 are the largest group of
As of 2013, 11 percent of all drivers younger than 20 who were involved in
fatal crashes reported that they were distracted at the time of the accident.
Out of the drivers aged 15 to 19 years old who were involved in fatal crashes
with a report of distractions, 21 percent were distracted by cell phone use.
to distraction.gov via the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI),
engaging in cell phone and portable device sub-tasks (i.e. dialing) that
include both manual and visual components triples the chance of being involved
in a car crash.
to distraction.gov via VTTI, sending or receiving a text message takes a
driver’s eyes off of the road for approximately 4.6 seconds. This is the same amount of time
it takes to drive the length of a football field at 55 mph.
to distraction.gov via VTTI, using a headset with a cell phone is not a safer
means of talking on a phone than holding the cell phone in your hand. Many people are surprised to see
this statistic among the 10 distracted driving statistics that will make you
turn off your cell phone. A popular belief is that headsets significantly
increase safety, but this is not the case.
10. According to distraction.gov via
the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI), one
fourth of all teenage drivers in the United States respond to a text message
one or more times every time they are driving. Twenty percent of these teenagers admit to
carrying on extended text message conversations while driving.
Many drivers view distracted driving as
dangerous when other drivers engage in it but are not able to see how the dangers
apply similarly to them. Best practice is to use common sense while driving and
keep your attention completely focused on the task of driving.
About the author:
Doug Climenhaga is president of SVI
International, Inc., a leading supplier of parts for
industrial lift equipment, and other repair parts including tire
machine parts. With more than 20
years experience in the hydraulic and automotive lift industries, he holds two
patents and has designed scores of problem-solving products.