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Distracted Driving Trends Take a Dangerous Turn

Did you know that at any given daylight moment across America about 660,000 drivers are using their cell phones or other electronic devices while driving? According to distraction.gov, the official U.S. Government website for distracted driving, this number has been consistently true since 2010. Although texting is thought of as the most common form of distracted driving, distraction can also include internet use, reading social media, talking on a hand-held phone, taking photos with a phone, and using navigation. The most recent State Farm Distracted Driving Survey demonstrations that, while the number of drivers talking on hand-held cellphones has gone down, more people than ever are using the internet while driving.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention says that at least 8 people are killed and 1,161 injured each day in the United States because of incidents involving distracted drivers. Distracted driving includes anything that takes the driver’s attention from the road, but most commonly involves a cell phone. According to the State Farm survey, roughly 65% of drivers surveyed in 2009 would talk on their cell phones while driving, compared to 51% in 2015. Texting and driving has stayed roughly the same in recent years, with 31% of drivers texting in 2009 and 36% in 2015. The percentage of drivers accessing the internet, however, has shot up from 13% in 2009 to 29% in 2015. The survey also revealed an increased use of navigation services, reading and responding to email, and reading and updating social media.

Interestingly enough, 84% of drivers surveyed also agreed with laws prohibiting the use of cell phones while driving, and 48% said causing a crash while texting would keep them from doing so again. So, why are drivers continuing to use cell phones, now more than ever? While there can’t be any absolute answer, State Farm cites the increase in the number of drivers with smartphones as a likely contributing factor.

Regardless of the reason, driving distractedly is dangerous not only for the driver, but for everyone else on the road. For the sake of yourself, and others, please stay focused and mindful when behind the wheel, and don’t use your phone while you drive.

To read more about the State Farm Distracted Driving Survey, click here.

If you or someone you know has been involved in an accident involving a distracted driver, contact Anderson & Boutwell for legal help, today.

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