Passengers, pedestrians and other motorists are endangered by distracted drivers. Statistics show that drivers who are holding electronic devices while driving are four times more likely to experience a serious accident. Teen drivers are more likely than any other age groups to be in fatal crashes resulting from distractions. There are several dangerous distractions that every driver should avoid.
Recent research shows that about 10 percent of people who are in fatal crashes are distracted. Only about one percent of crashes result from smoking. However, drivers who are trying to light cigarettes or dispose of ashes are in greater danger of causing an accident.
Moving pets, children or various objects are the culprits of some crashes. Only about one percent of accidents occur due to moving objects. Drivers should make sure children remain in their seats and have their safety belts securely fastened. Pets should be kept in carriers or in seat restraints.
About one percent of crashes occur as a result of drivers adjusting buttons or other controls in the vehicle. It is important to ensure these controls are set before driving. Some features may not be possible to set ahead of time. For example, setting the cruise control or using the windshield wipers while driving may be necessary. When this is the case, drivers should be aware of their surroundings.
Eating And Drinking
Approximately two percent of distracted drivers were eating or drinking at the time they crashed. Drivers should stop if they need to eat or drink. Even when stopping for coffee, it is important to either wait until arriving at a destination to drink it or drink the beverage before pulling out of the parking lot.
Searching For Lost Items
People who were searching for maps, electronic devices or other items while driving accounted for about two percent of fatal crashes. Drivers should pull over to a safe area and stop before searching for any items in the vehicle.
Drivers who were distracted by or talking to their passenger friends while on the road accounted for about five percent of fatal crashes. Although it may be tempting to converse with friends while driving, it is important to stay focused on the road and surroundings at all times.
Almost every person has seen a distracting billboard, crash or other event outside. Many people crane their necks or slow down to look. These are dangerous habits, and about seven percent of accidents were caused by such behaviors. Drivers should always avoid slowing down for outside distractions.
Talking, texting or reading cell phones while driving are all common ways people cause accidents. In several states, it is illegal to use a handheld mobile phone while driving. Texting while driving is illegal in almost 40 states, and about 12 percent of fatal crashes happen as a result of this practice. A person who is texting and driving is more likely to cause an accident than an intoxicated driver. In addition to this, more than 11 teen deaths per day and 1.5 million accidents per year are caused by drivers who are texting. To avoid the temptation, consider installing special software to disable the phone while the vehicles is moving.
Lost In Thought
There are an endless things a person could possibly be thinking about while driving. Whether a driver is looking for an address, trying to listen to the radio or daydreaming, accidents caused by general distractions account for more than 60 percent of all fatal crashes. It is important to stay mentally focused at all times.
Avoiding harmful practices is a good way to not only stay alive on the road but also to keep insurance rates lower. To enjoy the lowest possible rate, drivers need to consistently maintain a record that is free of negligent accidents. It is also important to stay vigilant and watch for distracted drivers in other vehicles on the road. To learn more, call ACBI at 203-259-7580 or visit our website.