Distracted Driving and MVA
Distracted Driving – Means You Too
Do you talk on a hands-free phone, talk on a hand-held phone, read text messages, send text messages or use social media – while driving? Do you eat, talk, smoke, or scroll through your car’s infotainment center?
Responses from American drivers in 2021 showed that
- 52.5% reported eating while driving
- 23.6% were texting
- 11.7% were taking photos
- 3.4% were drinking and driving
Distracted Driving Statistics + Research [Updated 2022] The Zebra
If you do any of these things, you are not alone. A University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing professor summarized responses from a survey of 760 parents and caregivers of children aged 4-10 from 47 states. Dr. Catherine McDonald noted:
- 52% talked on a hands-free phone
- 47% talked on a hand-held phone
- 34% read text messages
- 37% sent text messages
- 14% used social media
All of these high-risk behaviors took place with children in the car, teaching the children these unsafe behaviors were acceptable. Source: McDonald, Catherine, “Parents Driving Distracted”, Penn Nursing, Fall 2018, page 13 from McDonald, Catherine, “Factors associated with cell phone use while driving in a survey of parents and caregivers of children ages 4-10 years”, The Journal of Pediatrics, July 12, 2018.
With 94% of car crashes caused by driver error, safety experts conclude nearly all of the crashes are 100 percent preventable.
Our love affair with cell phones is increasing. A total of 40.4% of Apple users admitted engaging with their cellphone while driving, an increase of 13.7% from the 2020 Zebra survey. And watch out for Android users: 55.1% admitted engaging with their cell phone while driving, a small 2.7% decrease from the 2020 Zebra survey.
We know fewer people were on the road in 2020, so that may factor into these responses. But taking your eyes off the road means a decreased response time to a situation that requires quick action.
Your car may allow you to make hands-free calls, change music, dictate texts and emails, and provide updates for social media. All these activities can be distracting, even if they are built into the car. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found drivers doing some voice tasks remained distracted for as long as 27 seconds after they finished a task.
Fighting back on the use of cell phones while driving
- Dozens of Fortune 500 companies are banning the use of phones while driving.
- Talk to your employees about not calling you when you are driving.
- Activate the feature on your phone that blocks calls when you are driving.
- Before you start your car, turn off your phone ringer, set your favorite music station and navigation, and just drive. Your life depends on it.
OnPointLNC nurses are skilled in summarizing medical records of people injured in motor vehicle crashes. Contact us today to help you!
Kimm Ebersole, MHA, RN