Distracted driving represents a clear and present danger to those traveling the streets, highways, and interstates in Pennsylvania and throughout the nation. Even following a time when dangerous motor vehicle option was the rule, not the exception during a pandemic, the risks continue.
Taking your eyes off the road for a split second carries serious consequences. Grabbing a drink or glancing at your rearview mirror can mean the difference between safety and catastrophe. Focusing more on texting with smartphones can change, if not end lives.
Data reveals that distracted driving crashes are in the thousands, with countless lives ending due to negligence that could have easily been prevented. Statistics from 2021, courtesy of the National Highway Safety Association, Center for Disease Control, and American Automobile Association, paint a troubling picture.
Using smartphones for texting came in at almost 25 percent, and taking pictures at close to 12 percent. Android users are more likely to engage with cell phones while driving, a 2.7 percent reduction from the previous year’s study. More than 40 percent of Apple users were prone to grab their phones. Not to be outdone by the competition, their increase was nearly 14 percent from the previous year.
While nearly 37 percent believe mobile devices are significant distractions, an equal percentage of drivers admit to using them while navigating roads. Less than half equate texting while driving with drinking and driving. Respondents who felt pressure to respond to a text exceeded 12 percent. The 18 to 24 subset of that group accounted for 17.9 percent, the demographic with the most accidents.
More than 50 percent admitted to eating while driving, an actual reduction of 4.2 percent from the previous year. Makeup application was at 6.5 percent. Even more alarming are the 3.4 percent that admits to drinking alcohol while behind the wheel.
While driving, there is no such thing as a “simple task” other than keeping your eyes on the road. The slightest distraction carries significant consequences that can result in injuries and deaths.