Drivers distracted by their cell phones, GPS, or anything else that takes their eyes off the road even for a few seconds face a greater risk of accident.
While smartphones make life easier for many of us, they also come with a lot of unintended consequences, like distracted driving. Many drivers can’t seem to get from point A to point B without texting or emailing, and it’s become so much of a problem that many states, including Louisiana, now have strict rules on cell phone use while driving.
What Constitutes Distracted Driving?
Distracted driving includes no just cell phone use, but any activity that diverts attention away from the road—from fiddling with the radio to looking at the GPS. In fact, even holding a conversation with a passenger can distract a driver! Just sending or reading a text takes a driver’s eyes off the road for about five seconds, which is long enough to travel across a football field when traveling at 55 miles per hour! And unfortunately, those voice-activated, in-car technologies and voice-to-text programs aren’t much safer than manually texting, according to studies by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety and other organizations.
Distracted Driving Statistics
In 2016, accidents involving distracted drivers injured 391,000 people across the country, and 3,450 of those injuries resulted in death, according to statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). And in crashes involving teenagers, drivers were found to be distracted almost 60 percent of the time, according to AAA. What’s worse, among the NHTSA’s survey of 18 to 20-year-old drivers, 20 percent said that texting while driving did not affect their ability to drive safely, and almost 30 percent of drivers ages 21 to 34 agreed! Still, among drivers of all ages, 84 percent said that texting or emailing while driving is unacceptable, yet 36 percent of the same people admitted to texting or emailing while driving within the last month.
It’s clear that we still have some work to do to better inform drivers of the perils of distracted driving. In addition to being more conscious of our activities while driving, drivers now have access to useful apps such as LifeSaver and AT&T DriveMode, which help curb distracted driving by blocking the use of smartphones while driving.
Darryl Murphy Insurance Is Committed to Reducing Distracted Driving
At any given time during the day, over 480,000 drivers are distracted by their phone, GPS, or other electronic devices while driving, according to the NHTSA. Distracted driving has even contributed to the increased cost of auto insurance in Louisiana! It’s no surprise that so many of the claims filed are related to distracted driving accidents. No text message or wrong turn is worth risking injury or death, so please, put down the phone or pull over to view and send texts, as well as when doing anything that may be dangerous to do while driving. We at Darryl Murphy Insurance want everyone to arrive at their destination safely.
Whether you’ve experienced an accident due to distracted driving where you were at fault or not, we want to help you get the most comprehensive car insurance policy that works with your budget. Contact us today to speak to one of our representatives.