10 Distracted Driving Habits That Lead to Accidents

The National Safety Council (NSC), a U.S. Congress chartered 100 year old non-profit with the motto “Our Mission is Safety; At Work, At Home and In the Community, On the Road”, estimated that during 2013, 35,200 people died in US traffic accidents. In addition the estimate included 3.8 million crash injuries requiring medical attention.

3 Leading Causes of Fatalities on the Road

The National Safety Council’s latest annual report, “Injury Facts® 2014”, illustrates details on “unintentional injuries” and the three most significant causes of fatalities on the road. The first two have been traditional ongoing problems for decades while the third leading cause is a new phenomenon due to the rapid advancement in technology:

  1. Alcohol – 30.8%
  2. Speeding – 30.0%
  3. Distracted driving – 26.0%

10 Distracted Driving Habits That Lead To Accidents

According to Distraction.Gov, the official U.S. government website for distracted driving, distracted driving is defined as:

“Distracted driving is any activity that could divert a person’s attention away from the primary task of driving. All distractions endanger driver, passenger, and bystander safety.”

  • 10 Dangerous distractions include:
  • Texting
  • Cell phone or smartphone usage
  • Using a navigation system
  • Allowing pets to ride in driver’s lap or arm rest
  • Eating and drinking
  • Reading, including maps
  • Grooming
  • Talking to passengers
  • Adjusting a radio, CD player, or MP2 player
  • Watching a video

5 Distracted Driving Statistics

Although teen drivers are the most susceptible group to distracted driving, nearly every age group participates in some type of distracted driving habits. According to Distraction.Gov, “An estimated 421,000 people were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving a distracted driver in 2012.” Some alarming statistics about distracted driving:

  • 10% of all drivers under the age of 20 involved in fatal crashes were reported as distracted at the time of the crash. This age group has the largest proportion of drivers who were distracted
  • Drivers in their 20s make up 27 percent of the distracted drivers in fatal crashes – National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
  • At any given daylight moment across America, approximately 660,000 drivers are using cell phones or manipulating electronic devices while driving, a number that has held steady since 2010 – National Occupant Protection Use Survey
  • Five seconds is the average time your eyes are off the road while texting. When traveling at 55mph, that’s enough time to cover the length of a football field blindfolded – VTTI
  • 25% of teens respond to a text message once or more every time they drive. 20% of teens and 10% of parents admit that they have extended, multi-message text conversations while driving – University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute

If you or a loved one has been injured by a distracted driver carefully document the accident scene, document and photograph any evidence, and stay in close contact with law enforcement. In order to ensure the chain of evidence is clearly documented, please consider retaining a lawyer to represent your rights and family interests.