Distracted Driving the Main Culprit of Auto Accidents

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration reports that drivers make more than 200 decisions per mile traveled. Making the correct decision in every instance requires a driver’s full attention. Unfortunately, the growing use of handheld digital devices, including iPhones creates more distractions today than ever before. A groundbreaking study published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in 2006 found that driver inattention was the leading factor in most crashes. According to the research, 80 percent of crashes and 65 percent of near-crashes involve a distracted driver.

Specific Driving Behaviors Contribute to Car Wrecks

  1. Cell phone use
  2. Reaching for a moving object within the vehicle
  3. Looking at something outside of the vehicle
  4. Reading
  5. Applying makeup

Cell Phones and Texting

While it is illegal in California to use a handheld cell phone or to text while driving, many people continue to engage in these behaviors. Public perception is that texting while driving (blamed for 1,600,000 accidents per year) is a teenage problem, but adults are actually more likely to text and drive than teens. Regardless of who texts and drives, it’s extremely dangerous. Studies show that texting while driving is six times as dangerous as drunk driving. The use of a hands-free phone, permitted for drivers over the age of 18 in California, is thought to alleviate the risk associated with cell phone use. While this is true to some extent, hands-free devices do not eliminate cognitive distraction, as talking while driving leads to so-called “inattention blindness.”

Distracted Driving