You’ve likely seen the car commercials warning against distracted driving. Maybe you’ve even had family discussions about the consequences. And perhaps you’re even one of the remaining optimists who think their kids could never be so irresponsible to take their eyes off the road long enough to get into danger or be the cause of suffering for another driver.
Hate to be the bearer of bad news, but statistics show distracted driving is still a deadly issue. It’s so bad that The National Transportation Safety Board has called for a complete nationwide ban on texting and talking. Michigan, however, has had a statewide blanket ban on texting while driving for years. Still, distracted driving auto accidents are piling up. What’s going on here?
Millennials Are Putting Drivers at Risk
According to the AAA Newsroom, millennials between the ages of 19 and 24 are some of the worst drivers on the road. Their driving habits aren’t just products of an annoying arrogant stage that they’ll hopefully grow out of in time. They’re set in habits that can lead to fatal consequences. Over the past 30 days alone, 19-24-year-old drivers were twice as likely to read or respond to text messages as other age groups.
Nearly 12% of millennials openly admit they think it’s fine to speed 10+ mph over the limit in residential and school districts. And almost 50% of millennial drivers have skid through a red light when they could have easily stopped in time. Of course, other age groups come into play here, too, but when a specific group is continually at higher fault than others, something drastically needs to change.
Technology Is Still the Culprit
There are three main types of distraction while driving: visual, manual, and cognitive. Visual distraction involves taking your eyes off the road. Manual distraction involves taking your hands off the wheel. And cognitive distraction occurs when you take your mind off of driving. Cell phones can cover all three types of distraction. Drivers who dial a single number are three times more likely to crash. And those who talk on a cell phone increase their chances of chances of crashing by a third.
According to the National Safety Council, using a cell phone on the road in any way leads to 1.6 million crashes annually. Just reading the average text takes three seconds. Responding takes another five seconds just to write a simple one-word answer. If you’re driving at 55 mph, that equates to your eyes being off the road for the span of an entire football field. Twenty-five percent of all accidents are due to texting and driving which result in 330,000 injuries per year.
Apps are also a major bane on driving safety. Even young drivers who swear they never text or talk on their phones while driving often use their favorite downloaded apps. Whether using a direction app or game apps like Pokemon GO, there is always a new social hot spot that demands your attention.
Unfortunately, high speeds, injuries, fatalities, and complete removal of personal freedom (imprisonment) are all-too-often the consequences. Why take the chance? Turn your cell phone off and put it away when getting behind the wheel. And always keep the number of a competent Ann Arbor auto accident attorney on hand in case someone else on the road decides to take the chances you’re too smart to avoid.