A new survey on fatal car crashes shows that drivers who were daydreaming or lost in thought are five times more likely to cause a collision resulting in death than those drivers who were distracted by a cell phone. The study was conducted and published by Erie Insurance Company and showed that over a two year period, the U.S. had more than 65,000 fatal car accidents, a staggering amount.
Not all of those fatal car crashes were due to distracted driving, about 10 percent, according to the study. And surprisingly the majority of these fatal accidents were due to daydreaming – 62 percent. Cell phones caused 12 percent of those collisions, while rubbernecking or the “gawker effect” caused 7 percent. Other contributing causes included other occupants in the vehicle, reaching for an object, eating or drinking, adjusting controls on the dashboard, reaching for an ashtray, and pets within the car.
Young drivers are the most likely to drive while distracted. In fact, of drivers under the age of 20 who were killed in a collision, 11 percent were reportedly distracted at the time of the crash. This is a higher percentage than found among any other age group.
The results of this survey should alert all drivers of the need to focus on the task at hand: driving. While Americans lead busy lives, there is no time to be distracted or to split your attention while driving. Focus on the road and pay attention to traffic when you are driving, and if you need to make a call, send a text, or discipline your children, please pull over in a safe area before doing so.
It only takes a second of distracted driving to cause a fatal crash, meaning that it is crucial that drivers are aware of their surroundings and aware of other drivers who may be distracted.
Any distraction while driving is unsafe and many are illegal. For example, young drivers in Illinois are prohibited from using a cell phone and all drivers are banned from texting. What many drivers many not know is that cell phone use is also banned in school zones or in highway construction zones. Violations of these laws can result in significant fines or even imprisonment if the distraction causes a crash.
Be smart and be safe when driving. Do not drive while distracted and watch out for other drivers who may be distracted.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a collision caused by a distracted driver, call the Chicago car accident attorneys at Abels & Annes, P.C. today for a free consultation. Call us toll free at (855) 529-2442.
Stop daydreaming and focus on driving! by Paul A. Eisenstein, NBCNews.com
What is Distracted Driving?, Distraction.gov, NHTSA
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