Need incentive to pay more attention when you're behind the wheel? These distracted driving statistics will scare you straight.
- Five seconds. That's the minimum amount of time a texting driver spends with their eyes on their phone and not on the road.
- Twenty-three. Texting and driving gives you a 23% greater chance of causing an accident than if you drive without distraction.
Those are just two terrifying distracted driving statistics, and they only cover one of many distractions. While cell phones may be the number one distraction for drivers, they aren't the only one.
1. Distracted driving kills
Distraction.gov reports that over 3,100 people died last year due to motor vehicle accidents involving distracted drivers. Another 431,000 people sustained injuries.
2. Distracted driving is more widespread than you think
As you read this, there are 660,000 drivers on the road with a cell phone in their hand. That's just cell phones, too. It doesn't count all the dogs sitting on drivers' laps, people trying to negotiate a turn with a soda in hand, or the many drivers using Bluetooth technology to chat while they're behind the wheel.
3. Adults are guilty of texting
More than 80% of drivers own cell phones, and bringing them along for the ride seems like a poor idea. According to the Pew Research Center, approximately 47% of adults admit to reading or sending text messages while driving.
4. Texting teens are dangerous
According to DoSomething.org, 43% of teen drivers text while driving, and they spend 10% of that texting and driving time outside of their own lane.
5. Rubbernecking makes things worse
Before you take your eyes off the road to look at an accident scene, remember that 16% of vehicle accidents come from rubbernecking.
6. Daydreaming is deadly
You may have your hands on the wheel and your eyes on the road, but if your mind isn't there, you could be involved in one of over 4,000 fatal accidents caused by "drivers that were 'lost in thought.'"
7. Risky behaviors go together
A recent study published by the American Academy of Pediatrics found that teens who text and drive are nearly twice as likely as their peers to ride with a "driver who had been drinking alcohol."
8. Distracted driving at work is expensive
Aside from the numerous problems with distracted driving, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that "a non-fatal injury crash at work that involves distraction costs the employer $72,442."
9. You'll go a long way
Remember those five seconds from the beginning of this article? That's long enough to drive the length of a football field—without looking up from your texting! So you could go a long way, but that's assuming you get that far without hitting something or someone or running off the road.
10. Eating is for home
It's also for a restaurant, the breakroom at work, or a park bench. It's not for the driver's seat. Eating while driving doubles your risk of having an accident.
11. No, Bluetooth doesn't get you off the hook
Yes, Bluetooth lets you keep your hands on the wheel. It's true that you don't have to look at your phone when you use Bluetooth, but it isn't the same as talking to a passenger in the car. A passenger can see and hear traffic and potential hazards and knows when to be quiet. Whoever is on the other end of your Bluetooth conversation can't give you any of those benefits; they can only distract you.
12. Turn the tunes down
As much as you love to groove to your favorite tunes on the stereo, if the music is too loud, you can't hear things like horns, sirens, the motorcycle you didn't see in your mirror, or even the dashboard warning signal that you're about to run out of gas.
13. Multitask later
Any of the above distractions could be fatal, so why would anyone combine them? Texting with one hand, smoking with the other, and trying to steer with your elbows is a recipe for disaster—for you and for anyone else who happens to be in your path of devastation. There isn't anything so important that you can't wait a few minutes to pull over and take care of it safely.
Pekin Insurance works to help drivers get to their destinations safely by educating them on the various forms of distracted driving with the program Focus to the Finish. For more information and tips on distracted driving, visit focus2thefinish.com.
Of course, accidents happen even to the safest drivers. That's why it's important to keep your auto insurance policy up to date with your needs. Contact your local Pekin Insurance agent to get a quote or to adjust your policy so it fits your lifestyle.