Distracted Driving: Statistics and Solutions

April is distracted driving awareness month. Here are some statistics about the critical issue of distracted driving and ways to cope with the distractions. Help spread the word: Just Drive. 

Driving Dangers

  • Texting, emailing, accessing social media 
  • Watching videos or surfing the internet 
  • Snapping selfies 
  • Distracted driving, such as eating and drinking, putting on makeup, arguing with passengers, etc. 
  • Inputting or reading GPS directions
  • Using the infotainment system, fiddling with the radio, etc. 
  • Impaired driving after drinking or drug use
  • Drowsy driving 

Distracted Driving Statistics 

  • According to the National Safety Council, 80% of drivers incorrectly believe that hands-free devices are safer than using a handheld phone. Hands-free drivers miss about 50% of what is happening around them as they drive and talk. 
  • 82% of Americans indicated that they felt pressure from their families to use phones while driving to keep in touch.
  • In the time you take your eyes off the road to read or send a text at 55 MPH, it is like driving the length of a football field blind.
  • Texting while driving is six times more likely to cause an accident than drunk driving.
  • 10 Americans are killed and more than 1,000 are injured every day in distracted driving incidents
  • 45% percent surveyed in AAA’s Traffic Study last year admitted to reading a text or email while driving in the previous 30 days, and 34.6 percent admitted typing or sending one. 

Staying on Track

How do you avoid distractions and help those you love to stay on track with constant potential distractions? 

  • Take a minute to prep before you drive. Before you take off, adjust your music, pair your phone, set up your GPS and note directions, check your texts/social media one last time, adjust your mirror and seat position. 
  • Utilize the driving safety features on your phone. Use Apple’s Do Not Disturb While Driving feature or Android Auto. 
  • Out of sight, out of mind. If you are still distracted by your phone, try putting it in the trunk or stowing it where it won’t tempt you. 
  • Ask passengers for help. If you have passengers, ask them to read GPS, adjust the radio or answer phone calls/text
  • Pull over if you have to take a phone call or respond to an email/text. 
  • Avoid driving while drowsy and late at night. To increase alertness, avoid driving alone on little sleep and, if you feel drowsy, take a nap at a rest stop or use caffeine for a short-term boost. 
  • Pledge to “Just Drive”. Take the National Safety Council Pledge to “Just Drive” — and encourage everyone you care about to do the same. 

Sources: 

https://www.nsc.org/

https://www.nhtsa.gov/risky-driving/distracted-driving

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/working-to-change-americas-distracted-driving-statistics_us_5a498d9be4b06cd2bd03e140

https://publicaffairsresources.aaa.biz/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/TSCI-2017-Report.pdf

https://www.consumerreports.org/car-safety/distracted-driving-study-drivers-cant-keep-hands-off-phones/