A new study on distracted driving shows that it is still one of the most common and most dangerous behaviors on the road. Just how many drivers are distracted? Roughly 660,000 people in the U.S. are using cellphones or electronic devices while driving at any given time, according to a new study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
The study shows that a very high number of people are still driving distracted despite knowing the dangers associated with distracted driving. The study reported that 74 percent of U.S. drivers believe that hand-held cellphone use should be prohibited, and that 94 percent of U.S. drivers want texting while driving banned. If so many Americans understand the dangers of distracted driving, then why do they still do it?
Roughly 50 percent of drivers reported that they talk on their cellphones while driving, with 24 percent reporting that they try making phone calls while driving. The NHTSA estimates that 102 million people are answering cellphone calls while driving and 50 million people are trying to make phone calls while driving. Despite the fact that most states allow drivers to talk on their cellphones while driving, this is a very dangerous behavior and increases the risk of being in a car accident.
The NHTSA said that in 2011, more than 3,300 people were killed after being in a car crash with a distracted driver. In addition, 387,000 people were injured from these types of accidents. The main issue is that drivers do not recognize when they are exhibiting unsafe driving habits, like using a cellphone while driving, but they see the same behavior as very risk when other drivers do it.
To combat this problem and reduce car accidents caused by distracted driving, the NHTSA is urging the public to remember to put their cellphones down and out of reach when they are driving to prevent any distractions caused by cellphone use.
Source: Fender Bender, “NHTSA: 660,000 Distracted Drivers on Roads at All Times,” April 12, 2013
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