Your daily commute really opened your eyes to the dangers of distracted driving. You see it every single day.
In the morning, you see a lot of people getting ready in the car. Some do their makeup, others drink a cup of coffee and others eat their breakfast. They wake up too late and rush to work in our time-oriented culture, even when it's dangerous.
On the way home, you see people still working or starting their off time early. They take business calls on their cellphones. They text friends or family members. They browse social media sites while they drive. You have even watched people take selfies on the interstate at 75 miles per hour.
It worries you. How long will it be until one of these distracted drivers causes a serious accident and you get injured? You can't avoid that commute. You can't avoid the danger. What do the risks really look like?
To help you better understand the situation, here are 10 key facts:
- Teenagers get involved in more fatal distracted driving accidents than any other age group. Distraction causes about 58 percent of their total deadly accidents.
- Overall, about 25 percent of total fatal accidents stem from distracted driving.
- Distracted driving takes nine lives every single day.
- One study found that distraction also led to 391,000 annual injuries, using 2015's data.
- Drivers can crash when they suffer distraction for no more than three seconds. Many people think that quick distractions are safe, but they do not have to take their eyes off the road for long to cause an accident.
- Most researchers think that all distracted driving statistics are too low since drivers may not report it and police often can't test for it. It could be more of an epidemic than it appears.
- Most drivers do it. In one study, more than 80 percent said they engaged in "blatantly hazardous behavior" like shaving, steering with their knees or trying to change their clothes while driving.
- Drunk driving has gotten less common over the decades, but overall fatalities have not fallen fast enough because distractions have increased.
- Overall travel numbers are also up, with people in the United States covering more miles than any previous generation, which means accident numbers have risen accordingly. More distracted drivers make the roads increasingly dangerous.
- Driving with multiple passengers can be incredibly distracting. Did you know that a teen driver who has two or more friends in the car is five times as likely to get involved in an accident?
As you can see, those distractions you witness on your commute are nothing to take lightly. If you get injured in an accident, make sure you know your legal rights.