It’s safe to say that most people would acknowledge that “distracted driving” is dangerous to some degree. And yet, people still continue to use their cell phones at staggering rates while driving. In fact, 660,000 drivers are using cell phones while driving at any given moment in the United States, according to Driver’s Alert. With the increased normality of texting and driving, it’s important to understand the truth about how cell phones affect road safety. Does it really make a difference? How distracting is it? How dangerous is it? Let’s look at the facts reported by CODOT, Driver’s Alert, and NHTSA.
- Texting while driving is more dangerous than drunk driving. People who text while driving are 6 times more likely to get into an accident than those who drive while intoxicated. In short, you’re 6 times less likely to get into an accident while driving drunk than you are while texting behind the wheel!
- Hands-free isn’t necessarily distraction-free. Many people believe that using a hands-free phone mode while driving is better, but studies show that distraction from cell phone use while driving (handheld or hands-free) delays a driver’s reactions as much as having a blood alcohol concentration at the legal limit of .08 percent. Ask a passenger to send that text for you, or wait until your car is parked.
- Cell phone use takes up critical brain focus. Driving while using a cell phone reduces the amount of brain activity associated with driving by 37%. Is it worth taking that much of your focus off of the safety of yourself and those around you?
- The majority of car crashes happen because drivers aren’t paying attention. 80% of crashes in the US are related to driver inattention, and cell phone use is the #1 source of driver inattention. Let’s do our part to make Southern California’s roads safer!
- Teens are the most at risk. 11 teenagers die every day due to texting and driving. Teenagers are 400% more likely to get into an accident from texting and driving. Educate the teens you know about the reality of being on their phones while driving, but remember that everyone is susceptible to the deadly distractions of cell phone use while driving.
- According to the National Safety Council, cell phone use while driving leads to 6 million accidents per year.
- 520 pedestrians were killed by distracted drivers in the United States in 2014.
- 421,000 people in the United States are injured each year by a distracted driver.
What Can You Do To Make the Roads Safer?
Something needs to change! These aren’t just statistics, they are people. Southern California is one of the nation’s deadliest regions when it comes to fatal or serious car accidents. The only way to really make the roads safer is for drivers to take responsibility for adopting safer driving habits. Share the information about the negative impacts of cell phone use while driving, and commit to being a safe and alert driver yourself!
If you or a loved one is injured in the San Diego area because of another driver’s negligence – including the other driver’s unsafe use of a cell phone while driving, you’re likely entitled to significant compensation under the law. Contact a qualified personal injury attorney right away!