When you head out onto the local streets and highway, you expose yourself to the actions of hundreds of other drivers around you, all in charge of machines that could potentially kill you. Many of these drivers are not paying attention to the road around them. They are distracted by any number of things both inside and outside their vehicle.
How dangerous is distracted driving?
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that in 2018, distracted drivers were involved in crashes resulting in 400,000 accidents and 2,800 deaths. That is 8% of all crashes involving injury and 15% of all collisions where someone died.
Why is distracted driving dangerous?
Imagine a car rolling along the road on its own with no driver. It would not brake when someone steps into the road; it would not slow when a light turns red or another vehicle passed in front. It would hit anything in its path. The faster it was going, the more damage it would do. When a driver is not paying attention to the road, their vehicle may as well be unmanned.
How long do drivers spend distracted?
When a driver reads a message on their phone while driving at 55mph, they will travel the equivalent of the length of a football field. It may be just a second or two — but the capacity to cause damage in that short window of time is tremendous.
Are phones the only distractions?
While mobile phone use has increased distracted driving, it has been a problem since long before their invention. Reading a billboard, checking directions, eating or drinking, calming a baby, changing the music, or reaching for something in a bag all take attention away from the road.
If injured in a vehicle accident, do not discount the possibility that the other driver was distracted at the time. Look around next time you head out on the road. You will see how common distracted driving is.