Just how dangerous is distracted driving?

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Most people are aware that distracted driving is dangerous. But not everyone knows just how dangerous it actually is.

Worse yet, many who understand the dangers of distracted driving continue to engage in risky driving behavior.

What is distracted driving? Generally speaking, distracted driving is any activity that takes a driver's attention off of the road. Distracted driving can include:

  • Talking on a cell phone while driving
  • Texting while driving
  • Using an app while driving
  • Using a GPS while driving
  • Taking videos while driving
  • Eating while driving
  • Adjusting the radio dial while driving

Let's take a look at some statistics about distracted driving:

According to the U.S. government website for distracted driving and End Distracted Driving:

  • Texting while driving: On average, a driver who is texting while driving takes his or her eyes off of the road for 5 seconds. When traveling at 55 miles per hour, that is enough time to cover the distance of a football field – without looking at the road.
  • Total number of accidents: A total of 3,179 people were killed – and another 431,000 were injured – in distracted driving-related accidents in 2014.
  • Young drivers: The age group with the highest proportion of accidents caused by distracted driving is 15 through 19.
  • Accident likelihood: Drivers who are talking on a cell phone while driving are 4 times more likely to be involved in a traffic accident. Drivers who are texting while driving are 8 times more likely to be involved in a traffic accident.
  • Similar to drunk driving: Talking on a cell phone while driving impairs a driver similar to how a drunk driver is impaired by alcohol.

These frightening statistics illustrate just how dangerous distracted driving really is. It is important for all drivers to pay attention behind the wheel and eliminate distractions. By doing so, we all can play a part in making our roads and highways safer.

The law firm of Winer, Burritt and Scott, LLP, represent people who have been injured in distracted driving accidents. For a free consultation with an attorney, call 800-652-6137.