Distracted driving is a rising cause of fatal accidents, especially as smartphones and GPS devices become more standard. In 2016 alone, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said that distracted driving led to 3,450 traffic deaths nationwide. In 2015, 319,000 people were injured in accidents attributed to distracted driving. Despite these statistics, there appears to be a disconnect between drivers and whether or not they believe that they are distracted. KTVZ reports on studies that indicate that distracted drivers believe they’re not distracted.
The 2018 Traveler’s Risk Index revealed that there is a difference in what distracted drivers perceive they do and what they actually do.
The overall takeaway is that people generally think that they are less distracted than they really are when they are driving.
That same risk index revealed that 40% of drivers admitted to spending at least fifteen minutes for each hour behind the wheel distracted. Though 85% of people admitted that distracted driving is a risk, there seems to be a “not me” syndrome – ¼ of those people said that they could be safe while also being distracted.
It can take a driver up to 27 seconds to refocus their attention back on driving once it has been claimed by something else. To put this into perspective, in that time, a vehicle traveling just 25 mph can travel the distance of three football fields. This can leave plenty of time for a crash.
If turning off your phone is not an option while driving, consider installing an app that you can activate when you get behind the wheel. Once activated, it will reply to text messages or calls by informing them that you are currently driving and will contact them when you’re no longer behind the wheel.
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