|Photo courtesy of ADS Logistics|
One of the key issues is that while most people seem to agree that distracted driving is a problem, their beliefs don't translate into behavior changes. According to one report by the AAA Foundation, "A percentage nearly identical (67.3%) to the proportion of drivers who disapprove of hand-held cell phone use admits to talking on the phone (of any kind) while driving in the past 30 days ore than a third of licensed drivers (34.7%) admit to reading messages in the past 30 days (7.7% fairly often or regularly), and a quarter (25.8%) typed or sent them (5.5% fairly often or regularly)."
If you're reading this blog, I probably don't need to convince you that distracted driving is a big problem, but just in case, I've gathered some tidbits about the issue that should totally convince you (and maybe even your friends and family) to put down the phone...and hot dog, and hairbrush...
For pedestrian and bicyclist advocates
- While distracted driving deaths have fallen in recent years for motorists, pedestrian and bicyclist deaths from distracted driving have increased.
- In 2011, 495 non-occupants were killed in distraction-affected crashes.
- 11% of all drivers under the age of 20 involved in fatal crashes were reported as distracted at the time of the crash. This age group has the largest proportion of drivers who were distracted.
- 55% of the people killed during teen (15 to 19) distraction-affected crashes were other teens 15 to 19 years old.
- Headset cell phone use is not substantially safer than hand-held use
- Seven in ten (69.6%) licensed drivers, when asked to compare the safety effects of holding a
phone versus talking on a hands-free device, said the hands-free option was somewhat or
- There are four types of distractions: Visual – looking at something other than the road; Auditory – hearing something not related to driving; Manual – manipulating something other than the wheel; Cognitive – thinking about something other than driving. Hands-free voice texting while driving involves all four of these types of distractions, albeit to different extents
For people who think it won't happen to them
- In 2011, 3,331 people were killed in crashes involving distracted drivers and an estimated additional 387,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers
- 10% of fatal crashes in 2011 were reported as distraction-affected crashes
- 17% of injury crashes in 2011 were reported as distraction-affected crashes