Being someone who spends time in my car daily, I’m always amazed at the people on their cell phones, or drinking yummy lattes, or maybe reaching over to grab something from the other seat. I am even more amazed at the young drivers and their need for instant everything. I thought it would be wise to share with everyone some surprising statistics. Twenty percent of injury crashes in 2009 involved reports of distracted driving. (NHTSA).
• Of those killed in distracted-driving-related crashed, 995 involved reports of a cell phone as a distraction (18% of fatalities in distraction-related crashes). (NHTSA)
• In 2009, 5,474 people were killed in U.S. roadways and an estimated additional 448,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes that were reported to have involved distracted driving. (FARS and GES)
• The age group with the greatest proportion of distracted drivers was the under-20 age group – 16 percent of all drivers younger than 20 involved in fatal crashes were reported to have been distracted while driving. (NHTSA)
• Drivers who use hand-held devices are four times as likely to get into crashes serious enough to injure themselves. (Source: Insurance Institute for Highway Safety)
• Using a cell phone use while driving, whether it’s hand-held or hands-free, delays a driver’s reactions as much as having a blood alcohol concentration at the legal limit of .08 percent. (Source: University of Utah)
In our modern world of instant communications, instant gratification, maybe we should look forward to: instant love by our families when we arrive home safely, or instant smiles when we meet friends out for dinner and everyone arrives in one piece or seeing your neighbor’s kid (under 20) driving defensively and avoiding distractions. Safe travels everyone!