Distracted Driving is an Epidemic in the U.S.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) describes distracted driving as a “deadly epidemic” on U.S. roads. Although it’s well-known that distracted driving is illegal and dangerous, drivers engage in distracted driving behaviors every day. Sadly, 3,142 people lost their lives to distracted driving crashes in 2019 — a 10% increase in distracted-driving-related fatalities from 2018. Read on to learn the latest data and how drivers can help reduce the risk of distracted driving accidents.
The Three Types of Distracted Driving
Driving distractions are categorized into three types: visual, manual, and cognitive. Here’s what each entails:
Visual distractions are anything that takes your attention away from the road. Some examples may include:
- Looking at your cell phone
- Looking at your GPS device
- Turning your head to talk to a passenger
- Looking for something that dropped in your car
Manual distractions are anything that takes your hand off the wheel. Some examples may include:
- Eating or drinking
- Adjusting the radio or temperature controls
- Grooming (fixing hair or applying makeup)
- Taking something out of a purse or wallet
Cognitive distractions are anything that takes your mind off of driving. Some examples may include:
- Listening to a podcast or audiobook
- Talking to passengers
- Arguing with a passenger
- Thinking about stressful situations or personal problems
Distracted Driving Statistics
The latest data (2019) from the NHTSA proves that distracted driving is an increasing problem on our roads. Here are some of the most concerning statistics:
- 3,142 people lost their lives to distracted driving accidents in 2019.
- Out of 33,244 crashes, 2,895 resulted from a distracted driving accident.
- 13% of all distracted driving accidents were due to cell phone use.
- Drivers between the age group of 25 and 34 accounted for the highest percentage of distracted driving accidents at 23%, followed by:
- Ages 34 to 44: 18%
- Ages 45 to 54: 13%
- Ages 15 to 20: 11%
- Ages 21 to 24: 10% tied with ages 55 to 64 also at 10%
- Ages 65 to 74: 7%
- Ages over 75: 6%
- 424,000 people suffered injuries in distracted driving crashes.
- 28,000 people who sustained injuries in a distracted driving crash were due to cell phone use.
How to Avoid a Distracted Driving Accident
Distracted driving accidents are preventable by practicing defensive driving habits and being mindful of possible distractions in your vehicle. Here are some safety tips to keep in mind:
- Keep your cell phone off while driving. If you must make an emergency call, pull over to a safe spot on the road to send text messages or make phone calls.
- Refrain from eating or drinking while operating your vehicle.
- Limit passenger distractions by limiting the number of people in your car or keeping children entertained with reading books or coloring pads and crayons.
- Refrain from multitasking or trying to “save time” by doing your makeup or hair in your car or taking business calls or meetings while driving.
- Set GPS coordinates before putting your car in drive.
Injured in a Distracted Driving Accident? We Can Help
Distracted driving accidents are preventable. When careless individuals decide to text and drive, answer phone calls behind the wheel, or engage in other distracted driving behaviors that result in a devastating accident, they should be held accountable for their actions. If a distracted driver injured you or a loved one, we are here to help you recover your costs of medical bills expenses and seek compensation for your pain and suffering. When you need support and guidance throughout the process, you can count Meyerkord & Kurth.
Contact us today at (800) 391-4318 to learn your rights.