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Survey – distracted driving has become more of a problem

On Behalf of | Apr 30, 2024 | Firm News |

Ohio is one of the many states with a law that prohibits the use of mobile electronic devices while behind the wheel, but the results of a recent insurance company survey suggest that many drivers ignore the rule. Researchers from Travelers asked 1,000 motorists and business managers about their driving habits, and about 40% of them admitted to narrowly avoiding an accident because they were distracted. More than 10% of the respondents said that distraction caused them to crash, and almost a third of them told researchers that they were involved in an accident caused by another driver’s distraction.

Road deaths are rising

An increase in reckless behavior like distracted driving may be the cause of a recent surge in traffic accident deaths. Accident fatalities rose by 10.5% in 2021, and they have remained high ever since. Distracted driving accidents claimed 3,308 lives in 2022 according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, but may road safety experts think that figure is far too low. The advocacy group End Distracted Driving believes that 27% of all accidents are caused by distracted driving.

Phone calls and text messages

A survey conducted by an online auto insurance platform seems to support ENDD’s claims. More than 60% of the respondents admitted to regularly using handheld devices to make phone calls behind the wheel, and 47% of them told researchers that they use their phones to read and type text messages while driving. When asked how dangerous this kind of behavior is, 71% of the respondents said that sending text messages while driving was as likely to cause car accidents as getting behind the wheel after consuming alcohol.

Distracted driving penalties

There are laws on the books that prohibit using cellphones while behind the wheel, but many drivers ignore them. If these laws were enforced more rigorously and the penalties for breaking them were more severe, road deaths in the United States might start to fall.