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Distracted Driving Facts & Statistics

I went for a drive with a friend the other night in his brand new car with all the goodies and it got me thinking about distracted driving and how prevalent it is. His new car has the ability to surf the internet, read text messages and e-mail while the vehicle is in motion. I can't tell you how many times I've been following a car weaving back and forth only to pass the vehicle and see the driver texting while driving. I've also been seen people who rolled into the car in front of them while not paying attention at a stoplight. Any of the distracted driving scenarios can lead to injury or even death and things are getting worse... Not better!.

Drivers who cause accidents by distracted driving are liable for the injuries they cause. They must be held responsible for the harm they cause or things will continue to get worse. Distraction occurs whenever a driver's focus is on anything other than the primary task of driving. This increases driver error and the possibility of an accident. Current research suggests that any driver who talks on a cell phone while driving is up to four times more likely to be involved in an accident. Even though cell phones attract the most attention, there are many other sources of driver distraction. Did you know that cell phone use is associated with lower crash risks than other distractions. Reaching for a moving object, interacting with passengers, adjusting entertainment systems, and an outside person, object or event are associated with higher crash risks, according to a recent Distracted Driving study.

What is classified as distracted driving?

•· Texting

•· Talking on a cell phone

•· Eating or drinking.

•· Talking to passengers including children

•· Grooming

•· Reading, including maps

•· Using a navigation system

•· Watching a video

•· Adjusting a radio, CD player, or MP3 player

•· Anything that distracts you from the complicated process of driving

Who are these distracted drivers?

•· Over 60% of drivers report having used a cell phone in the past 30 days.

•· One in five admits to text messaging while driving.

•· 49% of 16 and 17 year old drivers admit to texting while driving.

•· 53% of 18 to 24 year old drivers text while driving.

•· 67% of 25-34 year old drivers talk on their cell phones while driving.

•· 71% of drivers with a college education talk on their cell phones while driving. The higher the level of education, the higher use of the cell phone.

Facts you need to know

•· 11% of drivers under the age of 20 in fatal crashes were reported as distracted at the time of the crash. This age group has the largest proportion of drivers who were distracted.

•· 40% of American teens say they have been in a car when the driver used a cell phone in a way that put people in danger.

•· Drivers using hand-held devices are 4 times more likely to get into crashes serious enough to injure themselves.

•· Crashes while texting are 23 times worse than driving while not distracted.

•· Sending or receiving a text takes a driver's eyes from the road for an average of 4.6 seconds. At 55 mph you can drive the length of a football field. Imagine doing that blindfolded.

•· Headset cell phone use is not substantially safer than hand-held use.

•· Driving while using a cell phone reduces the amount of brain activity associated with driving by 37%.

•· On October 2010, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration enacted a ban that prohibits commercial vehicle drivers from texting while driving.

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