The American Automobile Association Foundation for Traffic Safety does many studies involving the behavior of drivers on the road. One recent one found that distracted driving remains a serious issue where drivers may be distracted for up to 27 seconds after using voice-based technology in the car. This translates to inattention for 300 yards (or three football fields) if the driver is traveling just 25 miles per hour.
The study also points out that:
- Those driving while talking on the phone are 4-times more likely to get involved in a crash, but nearly half of drivers talk on a hand-held phone when driving.
- Those texting while driving are 8-times more likely to get involved in a crash, but an estimated 35% have sent an email or text while driving.
Drivers willingly engage in risky behavior
Despite the above behavior, 58% of drivers know that talking on a cellphone will driving is more dangerous, and 78% believe that texting while driving poses a significant danger. Nevertheless, these same drivers still engage in this risky behavior.
“We have created a do as I say, not as I do culture on our roadways. Drivers understand the risk, they just don’t think they are the problem,” said Cheryl Gouker of the AAA. “With more than 3,400 people killed in distracted driving crashes each year, it is time for drivers to be accountable. We can save lives”
Steps to safer driving
Distracted driving is an avoidable issue if the driver chooses to practice safe driving habits. These include:
- Turn off the device or employ apps that hold messages when the driver is behind the wheel.
- Get the GPS set up before putting the car in drive.
- Avoid drinking from open containers and eating messy food.
- Adjust sound system, climate control and seats before putting the car in drive.
Victims are injured and killed every day
The tragic consequence of not following the above advice is that negligent drivers put themselves and others in danger, forcing innocent victims and families to pick up the pieces. In cases such as these, it may be necessary to work with an attorney to secure damages to pay for lost wages, property damage and related medical expenses.