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Data Shows Surprising Distracted Driving Trends

When people hear the phrase “distracted driving” they likely envision a teenager texting on their cell phone while behind the wheel. Texting is one of the most commonly recognized forms of distracted driving, but it certainly is not the only one drivers should be worried about. Texting and driving has been a well-known driving hazard for some time now, but recent studies show that other dangers might be surpassing that of hazardous texters.

To better understand the dangers of distracted driving, and to discover the reasons behind these deadly crashes, find out what recent studies have to say about the latest distracted driving trends.

Cell Phone Use While Driving

The National Safety Council estimates cell phone use leads to about 1.6 million car accidents each year, and nearly 390,000 injuries. In other terms, 1 out of every 4 car crashes in the United States is caused by using a cell phone while driving. Most people hear these daunting statistics and acknowledge the dangers of texting and driving, yet continue to use their phones while they drive.

According to data collected by the seventh annual State Farm Distracted Driving Survey, the percentage of drivers who text and drive has remained roughly the same in recent years, but the number of drivers who are now using the internet while driving has more than doubled. The survey also revealed that 65% of drivers talk on a handheld phone while driving, 55% talk on a hands-free cell phone, and 29% access the internet via their smartphone. Additionally, 21% of those surveyed admitted to reading social media while driving, 19% take photos with their cell phones, and 10% were daring enough to record videos while driving. Technological advancements may be making our lives easier, but they are also making the roads much more treacherous.

Vehicle Navigation Systems

Thanks to several safety campaigns and data-driven reports, drivers are aware of the dangers of texting and driving, even if they do not abide by the subsequent safety laws. However, some drivers may be surprised to discover the dangers associated with in-vehicle navigation systems and other hands-free devices. Years ago, hands-free devices hit the market to help prevent drivers from talking on their cell phones while driving. However, data suggests that this solution may have created even more road hazards, rather than eliminate the existing ones.

Research by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety revealed that using a vehicle’s navigation system requires drivers to use the same high level of cognitive thought as texting. Additionally, using a navigation system or handling the car radio took the drivers’ eyes off the road even more frequently than texting.

Other Factors

Although the use of technology is the leading cause of distracted driving accidents, other distractions can lead to devastating damage on the road. Eating behind the wheel, applying makeup, speaking with passengers, and caring for children and animals within the car can be extremely distracting and may cause a serious accident.

Injured In an Accident?

If you were injured in a distracted driving accident, you have the right to seek justice and compensation from the negligent party. Distracted driving is a devastating but familiar danger, and drivers who fail to put their cell phones away while behind the wheel should be held responsible for the damage they cause as a result. These types of accidents can be very serious, especially if the distracted driver was on a freeway or traveling at high speeds when the crash occurred. In any case, if you or someone you love was injured in a distracted driving crash, make sure you act fast to protect your rights.

Contact Simeone & Miller, LLP to discuss your car accident case with our Washington D.C. personal injury lawyers.