12 Jun

Distracted Drivers as Accident Magnets

Posted by on June 12, 2012

Driving is something that is, for the most part, taken for granted. The average driver is utterly confident in their skills as defensive drivers who can react in a moment’s notice to avoid any circumstance that would come their way.

If that were the case there would rarely be motor vehicle accidents at all. Motor vehicle accidents happen at a rate of nearly 11 million per year just in the United States. It is estimated that driver distractions account for 2.2 million accidents, or roughly 20 percent.

A driver can be distracted by any number of things from the radio to cell phone to other people in the car. Lately though, the rash of texting drivers has caused the distraction mode to sky-rocket.

AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety notes that “drivers spend more than half their time behind the wheel engaged in distracted behavior. Eating, smoking, adjusting music, and rubbernecking can be as distracting as texting, e-mailing or talking on a cell phone.”

While most of us recognize cell phone distraction as a danger, it seems that most of us still can’t seem to put the phone down long enough to drive. One in four teen drivers admit to texting while driving. Research has shown that the act of just dialing a phone while driving can increase the chance of accident by three times. When texting, the numbers explode by a 23-fold increase of a crash.

As of May 2012, text messaging is banned for all drivers in 38 states, the District of Columbia and Guam. Ten states have instituted a ban on hand-held cell phones for all drivers, making it a primary offense.

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