distracted driving and teen drivers

How Common are Distracted Driving Accidents?

Driving while distracted is a very dangerous activity that claims the lives of more than 3,000 individuals each year. According to Business Insider, distracted driving is the leading cause of auto accidents, and it is estimated that 80% of all vehicle accidents involve some form of driver distraction. All it takes is just a few seconds of distraction to cause a collision, and in today’s modern age, there are more ways a driver can be distracted than ever before.

Distracted Driving Statistics

Distracted driving is quickly becoming a national epidemic, and here are some of the most disturbing statistics that underscore this fact:

  • About 9 people are killed each day and more than 1,000 individuals are injured in crashes involving distracted drivers;
  • More than 80% of motorists admit to distracting behavior while driving;
  • In one survey, 56% of respondents admit to using their cell phones while driving;
  • Distracted driving is the direct cause of nearly 60% of all crashes that involve teen drivers;
  • Teenage drivers between the ages of 16 and 19 are most likely to drive while distracted;
  • A teen driver with at least one additional passenger in the car is twice as likely to be involved in a fatal accident as a teen driver with no passengers;
  • Car crashes are now the number one killer among teens in the US;
  • Drivers are 8 times more likely to be involved in a crash when reaching for an object, and three times more likely to crash while eating or drinking when they drive;
  • Distracted driving costs our society approximately $40 billion each year.

Types of Distracted Driving

There are numerous ways that a driver can be distracted. Some of the most common include:

  • Eating and drinking;
  • Grooming;
  • Reaching for an object;
  • Tuning a car radio;
  • Reading a GPS;
  • Interacting with a passenger;
  • Interacting with a pet;
  • Talking on a cell phone;
  • Watching a video;
  • Sending, receiving, and reading texts;
  • Sending, receiving, and reading other types of electronic messages.

Distracted driving can be broken down into four general categories:

  • Visual: A distraction that causes drivers to take their eyes off of the road. Visual distractions can be partial in which a driver still maintains his or her peripheral vision, or they can be total when the driver’s full visual focus is directed away from the road.
  • Audio: A distraction that prevents the driver from hearing noises from outside that they may need to deal with. For example, playing the radio so loud that you are unable to hear a motorcycle that is driving alongside your vehicle.
  • Manual: A distraction that causes the driver to take his/her hands off of the wheel or clutch for any reason. Examples of manual distractions that we talked about earlier include eating/drinking, reaching for an object, or handling a passenger or pet.
  • Cognitive: A distraction that takes a driver’s mind away from the road. For example, becoming totally engaged in a radio program, phone conversation, or a conversation with a passenger.

All of the different categories of distractions can be hazardous to drivers when they occur in the wrong place and at the wrong time. However, texting while driving and other types of electronic activity while behind the wheel bring the dangers of distracted driving to a whole new level.

For example, sending, receiving, or reading a text falls into three different categories of distraction; visual, manual, and cognitive. Watching a video is even worse, because it can also become an audio distraction. The end result of these types of distractions is the driver becoming totally focused on their cell phone, making an auto accident much more likely.

Just to provide some context to how dangerous texting while driving is, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) says that when someone looks down at their phone for just five seconds while driving at 55 mph, it is similar to driving the entire length of a football field blindfolded.

Injured in Distracted Driving Accident in South Carolina? Contact a Seasoned Auto Accident Lawyer

Distracted driving is a danger that we must all be aware of, and we all need to do our part to curb this type of behavior and make the roads safer. When you have done all you can do, however, you still cannot control the actions of others.

If you or someone close to you has suffered injury at the hands of a distracted driver, you deserve to be fully compensated.If your accident occurred in South Carolina, contact Peake & Fowler for skilled legal guidance. Message us online or call our office today at 803-788-4370 to schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys. We look forward to serving you!