Distracted Driving and Road Safety
Did you know that in the United States, 3,142 people were killed in 2019 due to distracted driving? This is an alarming statistic. Even though it's common knowledge that driving while distracted can increase the risk of a severe traffic crash, drivers seem to be ignoring the warnings, and accidents are still happening every day. Read on to learn the latest distracted driving statistics and what motorists can do to prevent these accidents from happening.
What is Considered Distracted Driving?
Anything that takes your eyes off the road is considered distracted driving. Some examples of distracted behaviors behind the wheel include:
- Texting or talking on a cell phone.
- Eating or drinking beverages.
- Grooming (combing hair, putting on makeup).
- Tending to children in the backseat.
- Talking to other passengers in the vehicle.
- Rubbernecking (slowing down to look at a car crash or broken down vehicle).
- Reading billboard signs.
- Searching for an item inside the vehicle.
Related Article: How to Spot and Avoid a Distracted Driver
Distracted Driving By The Numbers
Risky distracted driving behaviors put everyone on the road at severe risk. The NHTSA's 2019 Summary of Statistical Findings reports the following data:
- 9% of all police-reported fatal crashes were distraction-related.
- 15% of all police-reported injury crashes were distraction-related.
- 3,142 people were killed, and 424,000 people were injured by distracted drivers.
- 9% of drivers 15 to 20 years old involved in fatal crashes were reported as distracted.
- 566 non-occupants (pedestrians, bicyclists) were killed in distracted driving accidents.
The NHTSA also reports that drivers under the age of 20 are the most likely to be involved in a fatal distracted driving accident. Drivers aged 16-19 are four times more likely to be involved in a deadly accident caused by distracted driving than drivers aged 20 and over. This may be due to younger drivers being more likely to text and drive or use their phones while driving.
So what can we do to prevent these accidents from happening? Here are some safety tips:
How to Prevent a Distracted Driving Accident
The best way to prevent driving while distracted is to be aware of the dangers and take steps to avoid them.
- Put your phone away before you start driving. Pull over to a safe location if you need to use it.
- Let callers know that you're driving and can't talk. Set up an automatic response or voicemail message if you can.
- If you must use your phone while driving, use hands-free features so you can keep your hands on the wheel and your eyes on the road.
- Keep child passengers entertained with toys or books so they don't distract you while you're driving.
- Avoid heavy traffic, and busy areas where staying focused on the road is more challenging.
- Make sure you're rested and well-hydrated before hitting the road. Fatigue can be just as dangerous as distracted driving.
Following these tips will help reduce your risk of being involved in a distracted driving accident. Remember, even a momentary lapse in attention can lead to tragedy. Drive safe and stay focused on the road ahead.
Need Help After a Car Accident? Contact Tate Law Group, LLCToday
When careless drivers cause you to suffer injuries, you have the right to hold them accountable for their actions. The healing process can be stressful, but the financial strains from medical bills and other expenses related to your injuries can also pose financial burdens. From recovering medical costs to lost wages, and more, Tate Law Group, LLC is on your side. We're here to be your advocate and protect your right to receive compensation and support you every step of the way.