It has long been known that drivers increase their risk of a crash when driving distracted. Now, thanks to research from the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, we know exactly how much of a risk drivers are taking.
According to the research, drivers double the likelihood they will crash when they choose to engage in distracting activities which require them to take their eyes off the road. Using a cell phone, reading, writing or even using the touchscreen menu on your vehicle all significantly increase the likelihood of an accident.
Even more concerning, the research indicates that drivers engage in this distracting activity more than 50% of the time they are driving.
The VTTI believes these findings are significant because as the younger population of drivers increase, we have more teens and young adults who are more prone to engaging in distracting activities on the road.
The data used by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute researchers was from the Second Strategic Highway Research Program Naturalistic Driving Study.
With more than 3,500 participants across six different data collection sites in the United States, this is considered the largest and most comprehensive study on the implications of distracted drivers. Of the 3,500 participants, the study found over 1,600 verified crash events. The severity of these events ranges from low (curb strikes, tire damage, etc.) to severe (including vehicle damage and injuries). 90% of the 905 crashes considered severe (including injury or property damage) had driver-related factors (fatigue, impairment, error or distraction).
According to the research, dialing on a cell phone far exceeds the 9 other distractions researched, increasing your risk for an accident twelve times. Reading or writing on a cell phone comes in second, increasing your risk by ten, and reaching for an object comes in third, increasing your risk of a crash by nine.
For the complete list of distractions, please see the chart attached.
At the Zappitell Law firm, we know that distracted driving accidents happen for many reasons. We also know that this can lead to serious injury or even death.
We have years of experience helping auto accident victims receive the compensation they deserve. If you find yourself injured by a distracted driver, don’t hesitate to learn more about your legal rights. Please give us a call at (561) 330-6330 or visit our website at www.florida.law