UPDATED: AUGUST 07, 2023 | 3 MIN READ
Distracted driving can be hazardous to both you and other drivers on the road. We live in a day and age where technology is readily available, even in the car. And this technology can often lead to driving while distracted. Understanding the implications of driving while facing distractions and vital statistics related to driving while distracted is essential. Today we’ll look at how common this is and what steps you can take to help prevent it in your vehicle.
Distracted driving statistics
- Distracted driving accounts for more than 3,000 fatalities per year.
- Most distracted driving accidents are caused by cell phone usage and electronic devices, such as text messaging and utilizing apps on cell phones.
- More than 400,000 serious injuries are caused by distracted driving each year.
- Distracted drivers are nearly six times more likely to cause car crashes than those caused by drunk driving.
- Most distracted drivers are between the ages of 15 – 20 years old.
- More than 80% of drivers admit to driving while distracted.
- More than a million motor vehicle crashes are caused by distracted driving every year.
- More than 14% of fatal traffic crashes are caused by cell phone use.
- Distracted driving is, by far, one of the most common causes of car accidents.
- Car accidents are rising because of cell phones and other mobile devices while driving.
- Eating or drinking while behind the wheel is more than 80% riskier than using a phone while driving.
Fatality statistics linked to distracted driving
Driving while distracted can lead to accidents resulting in severe automobile damage and injuries, and fatal crashes can also occur.
- Each day, nearly 11 teenagers die because of texting and driving.
- Distracted driving contributes to more than 9 percent of driving fatalities.
- Each year, more than 1.35 million deaths occur worldwide while on the road. Distracted driving is the leading contributing factor to this figure.
Distracted driving and everything you need to know about it
Distracted driving is driving while preoccupied with other activities. These activities take away your attention from the road and can be incredibly risky.
There are several types of distracted driving categories, and all are equally dangerous. Let’s take a look at some of the various types of distractions that can occur:
Cognitive: These distractions occur when you stop focusing on your driving and start focusing on everything else. This is common when you’re exhausted and are, in fact, probably too tired to drive. Emotions tend to play a role in this category as well. Those with a lot on their minds tend to deal with cognitive distractions.
Visual: Visual distractions are distractions that steer your eyes off the road. Kids in the back seat and passengers riding next to you are perfect examples of these driver distractions.
Manual: These distractions occur when you take your hands off the steering wheel for a moment. Examples would be eating, drinking, or using a cell phone to text or find a new song on your playlist.
Auditory: Auditory distractions occur when different sounds distract you. Examples include loud music playing in your car or talking with children or passengers.
Driving behaviors that lead to distracted driving
Driving while preoccupied is far more common than you may think. Most drivers are probably guilty of displaying one of the following behaviors while driving on the road:
- Using handheld devices, like a cell phone or a GPS
- Smoking cigarettes
- Talking with passengers in your car
- Texting while driving
- Social media use while driving
- Grabbing items for the back seat of your car
- Putting makeup on
- Fumbling with music selections
- Drinking or eating while driving
- Talking on the phone
When you’re busy focusing on things other than the road, your processing time is slowed, and you may be more apt for a car accident. It’s important to eliminate distractions as much as possible to ensure safe travels while on the road.
How to prevent distracted driving
Just because distracted driving seems pretty common doesn’t mean you have to partake. It can be easily preventable with a bit of work and dedication.
When we work to prevent distracted driving, we potentially save lives out in traffic. When you’re driving, be sure to follow these steps for safe driving:
- Try not to multitask while driving.
- Ensure children are properly restrained in car seats and pets are buckled in and not loose.
- Remember always to use your seat belts when driving.
- Don’t text while driving. Many handheld cell phones have driving modes installed on phones to limit distractions while driving and to turn devices into hands-free devices.
- Pull over to talk on the phone. Conversations can lead to distractions, so it’s best to pull off the road if you need to take a phone call.
- Make sure you set up your GPS before you begin driving. Doing this will limit the times you have to fumble through your GPS when you should be driving with both hands on the wheel.
- Make sure you keep your eyes on the road at all times. Avoid applying makeup, smoking cigarettes, and eating while driving.
- Try not to allow too many passengers in your vehicle at once. Passengers often create distractions for the driver.
Distracted driving and your insurance policy
Not only is distracted driving dangerous, but it could also have a tangible impact on your insurance rates and driving record. Many states carry distracted driving laws, and many have laws to ban text messaging while driving.
Drivers pulled over for distracted driving can face criminal charges if law enforcement deems it necessary. Significant traffic fines, points on your driver’s license, and suspended or revoked licenses are just a few possibilities you may face if you drive while preoccupied. Your insurance premiums can significantly increase if you get a traffic ticket for it.
A six-month premium could increase by more than $500 because of reckless driving infractions on your record. To save yourself the headache of increased premiums, it’s best always to practice attentive driving and eliminate all distractions when behind the wheel.
Is distracted driving increasing?
Distracted driving is increasing as time progresses. This seems to be right on track with the rise in technology, as more and more people end up texting or using devices while driving.
What is the #1 distraction while driving?
Texting while driving is the most common distraction while driving. Most people have cell phones in 2022, and texting is the preferred form of communication.
What is the average age of a distracted driver?
Teen drivers and young adults are the most at-risk age group for distracted driving. Young drivers tend to focus on other things rather than driving and often have passengers in the car, which likely contributes to distracted driving crashes.
Protect yourself from distracted drivers with high-quality car insurance
Distracted drivers are common on the roadways, so you want to ensure you’re protected in case you are involved in a car accident. Carrying a high-quality insurance policy can protect you from expensive repair bills and medical bills.
We have an excellent team of licensed agents who can walk you through the insurance process every step of the way and can find the best insurance providers out there. Call us or complete our online quote form here, and we’ll get you on the road today!