7 Sobering facts about distracted driving

Distracted driving is a huge problem that is only getting worse. With more and more people essentially becoming addicted to their smart phones and using them while driving, our roadways are becoming more dangerous.

Here’s the sobering truth: There is no safe way to use a cell phone while driving. Unfortunately, this message is not resonating with millions and millions of drivers who continue to use their phones while driving.

Let’s take a look at some statistics about distracted driving.

· Drivers cannot (safely) multitask: Contrary to popular belief, humans are not good multitaskers. Talking on a cell phone and driving are two tasks that require focus and thinking. When the brain is forced to switch between these two tasks, a driver’s reaction time is drastically slowed.

· Hands-free devices are not safe: Many people feel that hands-free devices are a safe alternative to traditional cell phone use. However, when using a hands-free device, drivers can miss seeing approximately 50 percent of their surrounding environment (like stop signs, bicyclists, or children on the street).

· Drivers remain distracted even after putting down the phone: A driver remains distracted for an average of 27 seconds after putting down his or her phone.

· Risks of texting while driving: Drivers who are texting while driving are 23 times more likely to be involved in a car accident than those who don’t.

· Three types of distracted driving: A driver can be distracted visually (with a phone or GPS device), manually (by eating or grooming while driving), or cognitively (by talking, daydreaming, consuming alcohol or drugs, etc.)

· Distracted driving makes drivers feel unsafe: Half of all respondents stated that they feel less safe driving today than they did five years ago – and distracted driving is a primary reason why.

· Crash numbers are underreported: We already know that distracted driving is dangerous and a major cause of traffic accidents. However, there is no good way – there is no test – to gauge whether a driver was distracted while driving. Many drivers are quick to deny cell phone use after an accident occurs. Distracted driving is likely a bigger problem than statistics currently show.

The statistics were gathered from the AAA Foundation For Traffic SafetyTravelers Insurance, the National Safety Council, and the Department Of Motor Vehicles.

We all play a part in keeping our roadways safe by paying attention on the road and eliminating distractions. You can play your part by immediately stopping using your phone while driving.

Schedule a free consultation: If you or someone close to you has been injured in an accident caused by a distracted driver, contact The Gonzalez Law Group, PLLC, in Houston: 832-530-4070.