The alarming prevalence of distracted driving

Car accidents involving drunk drivers often tend to dominate the headlines. Yet while most in Philadelphia don’t think twice about driving responsibly when it comes to alcohol, few give as much thought to allowing themselves to become distracted while driving. According to the CDC, nearly one on every five reported motor vehicle collisions that took place in 2010 was due to a distracted driver. While everyone may have their own definition of what distracted driving is, the CDC simply defines it as any activity that takes one’s eyes off the road, hands off the wheel, or mind off of driving in general. Common activities known to lead to such distractions include:

Just how often do drivers engage in such activities? CDC studies have shown that 69 percent of U.S. drivers claim to talk on their cell phones while driving, while 31 percent admitted to texting while behind the wheel. Yet the technological distractions didn’t stop there. Data compiled by the Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association shows that drivers often don’t stop at talking or texting and driving. 48 percent of the drivers they reported as surveyed admitted to accessing the Internet via their cell phones while driving. The two most common reasons given by those drivers for doing so was to check e-mails or read social media posts.

The danger in distracted driving is that many are completely naïve to it. Just as as many have confidence in their own abilities to avoid a car accident, so too do they have confidence in their abilities to safely multi-task behind the wheel. Those who choose to avoid distracting actions are still subject to threats posed by other who choose to continue with them.



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