You have probably heard about the importance of not driving while distracted. Yet you may not realize how common it is. Even if you avoid it yourself, the roads are full of drivers who are not paying full attention to the road and road users around them.
How big is the problem of distracted driving?
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 400,000 people were injured in car crashes involving distracted drivers during 2018. Another 2,800 were killed. That is to say, on average distracted drivers injure 1096 people every day and kill another eight.
With over 100 million vehicles on the country’s roads each day, it might sound like the chances of a distracted driving accident happening to you are low. However, consider this: one survey found 54% of people admitted to texting while driving. Yet, texting is only one of many forms of distracted driving.
What are some common forms of distracted driving?
Some of these are obvious, but many are things that most drivers do all the time without realizing they are distracting, like:
- Using a cellphone to text or call
- Checking a directional or navigation device
- Watching videos on an in-car DVD
- Turning around to quiet a baby, child or pet
- Turning to talk to someone in the passenger seat
- Searching for something in your bag
- Looking out the window at a billboard
- Eating or drinking
Next time you sit at traffic signals, look around at the other drivers. How many of them do you see giving their full attention to the road? How many are distracted in some way? Anyone in charge of a vehicle needs to take their responsibility seriously. If not, they could cause a serious accident and leave you with severe personal injuries that require significant compensation.