Distracted Driving: Everything Drivers Need To know

The statistics indicating the hazards of using a mobile phone while driving are staggering. About 660,000 drivers attempt to use their phones while driving at any one point during the day.

We can now stay connected at all times thanks to mobile phones. However, if someone decides to read their text messages, emails, phone calls, or other mobile apps while driving, this might pose significant safety dangers.

Distracted driving accidents are on the rise, and they regularly result in catastrophic injuries or even death. The most common cause of distraction for drivers is texting and other mobile phone use while driving.

When Is Using a Cell Phone While Driving Illegal?

People were texting while driving is unquestionably hazardous. So what does the law say about this reckless practice? First, it is against the law in California to use a cell phone while driving. According to the California Office of Traffic Safety, drivers cannot use a mobile phone or any other portable device while driving.

Alternatives to using your hands, such as conversing on speakerphone or utilizing voice instructions, are allowed. However, individuals under the age of 18 are prohibited from using a cell phone for any purpose. A measure passed by the California State Legislature in 2019 will take effect on July 1, 2024.

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Here’s the cell phone statistics for teen drivers:

  • According to a survey, 94 percent of young drivers are aware of the hazards of texting while driving, but 35 percent admit to doing it regardless.
  • Cell phones were used by 21% of young drivers who were involved in fatal accidents.
  • When chatting or texting on a mobile phone, teen drivers are four times more likely than adults to be involved in auto accidents or near-collisions.
  • With only one additional passenger, a juvenile driver’s probability of being involved in a fatal automobile accident is doubled. They are five times more probable if there are two or more passengers.

General distracted driving statistics:

  • According to the National Safety Council, mobile phone usage while driving causes 1.6 million collisions each year.
  • Each year, about 390,000 people are injured in incidents caused by distracted driving.
  • Texting and driving causes one out of every four vehicle accidents in the United States.
  • Driving while texting is six times more likely to result in an accident than driving when intoxicated.
  • For around five seconds, responding to an SMS diverts your attention. That’s enough time to go the length of a football field at 55 mph.
  • When you text while driving, you spend 400 percent more time with your eyes off the road.

For a good cause, the California Highway Patrol is tightening down on cell phone use. So let’s look at some quick data to get a better idea of the dangers of distracted driving:

  • Fifty-eight percent of California drivers questioned in 2019 indicated they had been hit (or almost hit) by another vehicle who was texting or chatting on their phone.
  • Over half of the drivers polled acknowledged making a mistake while driving and talking on the phone.
  • Drivers who must take their eyes off the road or their hands off the wheel to do something else are three times more likely to be involved in an accident.
  • When you’re texting while driving, your eyes are taken from the road for an average of five seconds at a time. It’s the equivalent of driving the length of a football field while blindfolded at 55 mph.

Here’s how these distractions could present themselves in your daily routine that can be very dangerous:

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  • Grooming —  many motorists report utilizing their vanity mirrors to apply mascara or even shave while driving when they are late for work or an important meeting.
  • Tuning the radio system/vehicle controls — tweaking your radio to find the perfect station to listen to while driving might force you to take your eyes off the road, notably when unfamiliar with the setup in a rented or leased automobile.
  • Eating — Yet another imagined time saving with possibly fatal implications. No matter how confident you are in your talents when it comes to unsafe multitasking, you can spill your coke and end up crashing.
  • Reading – When important business messages can’t wait, skimming through your inbox on a mobile device puts you and everyone else on the road in danger.
  • Passengers in the car – driving with passengers is particularly distracting for teenagers. In reality, according to the California Department of Motor Vehicles, carrying other occupants under the age of 20 without the presence of a California-licensed driver age 25 or older is forbidden during the first 12 months of earning a provisional driver’s license.
  • Uncontained pets — Out of prudence, many Individuals have elected to drive places they would ordinarily fly during the epidemic. Unfortunately, long car trips often lead to poor judgments, allowing the family cat to wander liberally in the passenger seat.

To Wrap It Up

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While the frequency of car accidents has decreased over time, collisions caused by distracted driving are on the rise in the United States, resulting in considerable morbidity and mortality.

The general population appears to be aware of the hazards of using technology while driving. Yet, they continue to engage in this risky behavior, and they may be unaware of or underestimate the influence of mobile phone usage on their driving performance.

Distracted driving problems are not restricted to inexperienced or young drivers; broad universal preventative measures directed at large public areas may have the most impact.

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