Safety advocates and transportation officials have been warning drivers about the dangers of distracted driving for years. Yet, it continues to be one of the leading causes of crashes and more than 2,800 traffic fatalities each year in the United States.
Some drivers do it because they don't think they'll ever get caught or because they believe they can do it safely. The problem of distracted driving is everywhere and more drivers engage in it than you may anticipate.
Drivers justify their behavior
According to recent research conducted by insurance marketplace website The Zebra, nearly two-thirds of participants admitted to using cellphones while driving. It should be no surprise that the most common forms of distracted driving identified in the study include reading something on a cellphone (58%) and texting (56%).
The study also found that many drivers try to justify the use of cellphones. For example:
- Nearly 82% said that it was OK to use a cellphone while driving, as long as it is connected to a hands-free device.
- More than 64% said it was OK when using it for directions and navigation.
- Roughly 23% said they use cellphones because "driving is boring."
- Another 30% say they can text and drive without having to take their eyes off the road.
Less common ways drivers are distracted
When it comes to distracted driving, cellphones have become the center of attention. The survey found that distracted driving goes beyond cellphones, though. Some less popular known forms of distracted driving participants admitted to include:
- Changing clothing while driving — 1 in 4 participants admitted to this
- Applying makeup or deodorant — 1 in 7 participants admitted to this
- Brushing hair — More than 17% of participants admitted to this
- Engaging in sexual activity while driving — nearly 15% of participants admitted to this
- Hitting a passenger while driving — More than 12% of participants admitted to this
- Reading a newspaper or book — about 4% of participants admitted to this
What are the demographics of distracted driving?
The survey found that:
- College graduates were more likely to drive distracted (36%) than those without college degrees (31%).
- Urban drivers were more likely to drive distracted (35%) than those from other areas.
- Baby boomers (people ages 56-74) were less likely to drive distracted (24%) than younger generations.
- Gen Z drivers (people ages 18-23) were the most likely age group to drive distracted (38%).
Sarasota attorneys serving car accident victims
If you or a loved one was injured in a crash caused by a distracted driver, an experienced Florida car accident attorney can help you take legal action. Distracted driving crashes often require in-depth investigations, including:
- Obtaining cellphone records
- Obtaining surveillance camera footage (when available)
- Speaking to witnesses
- Obtaining a detailed police report
To learn more about your legal rights and to get started on your claim, contact Farrow & Pulice, P.A. in Sarasota, FL. We offer free and confidential case evaluations.