Distracted driving endangers not only those behind the wheel but also their passengers, other drivers, and pedestrians. Of the more than 65,000 people killed in car crashes over the past two years, one in 10 crashes involved at least one distracted driver. For every accident and/or ticket your insurance rate will go up.
Top 10 Drivng Distractions
10. Smoking-related (includes smoking, lighting up, putting ashes in tray)
1% of these distracted drivers reported smoking, including gestures related to lighting up and putting ashes in the car’s tray as the distraction.
9. Moving objects (pets or insects)
Dog owners know the dangers of an agitated or overexcited Fido all too well. Abou 1% of police reports analyzed alluded to “moving objects.”
8. Using other device or controls
Seemingly innocent behaviors, such as adjusting rearview mirrors, seats, or using an OEM navigation system accounted for another 1% of fatal distractions.
7. Adjusting audio or climate controls
2% of distracted drivers admitted that switching radio stations or adjusting the stereo volume or vehicle temperature led to a fatal mistake.
6. Eating or drinking
Using one’s car as a moving restaurant is risky business as well. Another 2% of distracted drivers were either eating or drinking when the fatal crash occurred.
5. Using or reaching for device brought into vehicle (navigational device, headphones, etc.)
Drivers who reached for their GPS device or headphones accounted for around 2% as well.
4. Other occupants (talking with or looking at other people in the car)
Friends made bad company for 5% of distracted drivers involved in fatal crashes.
3. Outside person, object or event
It’s difficult to resist temptation to gawk at off-road drama or post-wreck cleanup, but 7% of the distracted drivers in Erie’s report should have. Parents’ advice to “keep your eyes on the wheel” at all times should carry through adulthood.
2. Cell phone use (talking, listening, dialing, texting)
A slew of legislation has been aimed to deter operating a cell phone while driving. At least 11 states in addition to D.C. have banned the use of hand-held cell phones while driving. This offense accounted for 12% of fatal driving distractions. The national epidemic has also sparked a “driving while intexicated” public awareness campaign, after studies revealed that texting while driving is about six times more likely to cause an accident than driving intoxicated.
1. Generally distracted or “lost in thought”
Detaching from reality can prove useful when recharging creative energies or simply taking a respite from a hectic day. However, driving while doing so can be fatal. Daydreamers accounted for a whopping 62% of distracted drivers involved in road fatalities.
Virtually any activity that can take your eyes off the road for even a split-second can put the driver and others in jeopardy. Deciding not to take part in the above tasks will decrease your chance of having an accident by a significant amount! Safe drivers have cheaper insurance!