Tennessee residents have certainly heard and read a lot about distracted driving over the last decade or so. A lot of the focus in this discussion has centered around the use of cell phones while driving. However, there are numerous things that may distract drivers including built-in infotainment systems, children and other passengers, eating and drinking in the car, even personal grooming and more. Just how serious is distracted driving in America?
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, distracted drivers claimed the lives of 3,450 people in 2016. In the prior year, almost 395,000 people were either injured or killed in distracted driving accidents. Today, it is believed that nine people die every day on U.S. roads in these crashes.
Records from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show that in 2017, distracted drivers were responsible for the deaths of 3,166 people. The use of cell phones was reported to be involved in 434 of those, highlighting the reality that distractions extend far beyond the phone.
The insurance comparison site, The Zebra, conducted a survey earlier this year to gauge the opinions of drivers across the country. It seems that job pressures may contribute to some distracted driving as 25% of people said they felt strongly compelled to respond to messages or calls when in the car if they were related to work. This pressure was felt even more by drivers between 18 and 34 years of age as 37% of those drivers indicated a strong urge to respond while driving. It seems many drivers still watch videos, take photos and more when they should be focused on the road.