Distracted Driving Statistics (That May Shock You)

August 10, 2021

Distracted driving is dangerous and should be avoided at all costs. The statistics we are about to show are made of people like you who failed to focus on driving and the road ahead for one reason or another. We hope that you avoid all forms of distractions so that you do not become part of the statistics for study in the future.

Again, remember you don’t have to be a distracted driver to reap the bitter fruits of distracted driving; the distracted driver close to your car can get you in trouble, so watch out.

What Is Distracted Driving?

Distracted driving is any activity that takes your attention away from driving. It can be texting or taking/making a call on your cell phone, fiddling with your radio, drinking water or juice, eating a biscuit, or talking with your passengers. It can also be something as seemingly harmless as daydreaming.

Any non-driving activity, no matter how beneficial to you, is a potential distraction. That includes consulting a GPS for directions or admiring the beautiful sceneries along the road as you drive through some gorgeous landscape.

Categories of Distracted Driving

Manual Distraction

In this case, the driver moves his hands away from the wheel to do another task, such as press the stereo button, drink, eat, or do whatever he needs a hand to do.

Visual Distraction

The driver has both hands on the wheel but has his eyes focused away from the road

A Cognitive Distraction

This one is what we might call daydreaming, but it goes beyond it. You can not be daydreaming but still lost in thought, perhaps mentally reviewing an incident that happened last night or even meditating.

Something worth noting is that texting involves all these categories. Indeed, texting now takes the lead for distracted driving. This means that before the advent of cell phones, drivers were less distracted. But we will come to this later.

Below are the groups of statistics connected to distracted driving:

1. Lost Lives

According to NHTSA, 3142 people lost their lives in distraction-related vehicle crashes in 2019. These accidents occurred because the drivers were distracted. Some were texting, talking to the passengers, adjusting the radio volume, or turning a newspaper page.

8 people die in the United States in road crashes originating from distracted driving, according to an NHTSA 2018 report.

2. Distracted Driving Crashes Vs. Other Crashes.

In 2015, distracted driving accounted for 27% of all crashes, according to ENDDD. In 2019, 7% of all the crashes were distraction-related, again according to NHTSA. This marked an increase of 9.9% compared to 2018 when 2,858 were lost due to distracted driving. This is a grim picture because it shows an increase, not a decline.

36% of trips across the US are involved in distracted driving, according to research by Mobile Telematics, a telematics and behavior analytics company.

3. Distracted Driving per Age Group

Teens are the most affected by distracted driving. This should not surprise you when you remember that texting or chatting on a cell phone tops the charts when it comes to distracted driving.

But the rate among the teens is really high than what you might think: it is 3 times higher than for 20+-years-old drivers, according to IIHS. It means that drivers aged 15-19 are the main culprits when it comes to distracted driving. Research by CDC also confirmed the same.

58% of teen vehicle crashes are caused by distracted drivers, according to AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.

4. Injury Crashes Related To Distracted Driving

15% of injury crashes in 2018 were related to distracted driving. Out of these crashes, 400,000 people were injured, according to NHTSA.

5. Pedestrians/Outsiders Affected by Distracted Driving

In 2018, 1 of every 5 people killed because of distracted driving were outside of the vehicles, according to NHTSA. These were pedestrians, motorbike riders, or just anybody outside the vehicles in question.

6. Distracted Driving Related to Phone Use

You are 5.36 times more likely to get into an accident when you use your cell phone while driving than when you do not, according to the University of Utah.

Cell phone use while on the wheels accounted for 27% of car crashes in 2015, according to NSC. On the same breath, the same NSC stated that distracted driving incidents are under-reported. For instance, a distracted driver who has just caused an accident will not readily admit he had been distracted prior to the crash.

Did you know that when you are driving while talking on a cell phone, you are as vulnerable as an intoxicated driver with 0.08% blood alcohol content? That is according to research by the University of Utah.

A commercial driver text messaging while on the wheel increases his risk of crashing or a near-miss by 23 times, according to Virginia Technical Transportation Institute, USDOT.

Can you drive the length of a football field with your eyes closed and at a speed of 55 mph on a busy road? It looks scary, but that is precisely what many drivers who send or read text messages for as little as 5 seconds do every day! This is according to none other than NHTSA. The thing is, 5 seconds look shorter when you are chatting on your Smartphone.

Interestingly, 84% of drivers believe that using a cell phone while driving is dangerous and unacceptable. They feel drivers should not text or send an email while on the wheels. However, and surprisingly, 36% of them still use their cell phones while driving. This is according to research by AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.

So, it is not really about lack of knowledge, but discipline. Receiving the correct information is one thing and making good use of it is quite another, if these statistics are anything to go by. As drivers, we need decisive behavioral change.

But laws have also been put in place to help us change our destructive driving behaviors. While laws proscribing the use or misuse of cell phones vary from state to state, talking on a hand-held cell phone while on the wheel has been banned in 24 states and the District of Columbia.

On the other hand, text messaging while driving is banned in 48 states and the DC. Inexperienced drivers are especially discouraged from using cell phones while driving. In fact, inexperienced drivers have been banned from using phones while driving in Missouri.

Wrapping It Up

Do you get distracted at times while driving? We passionately urge you to get rid of the distractions. As these statistics have shown, drivers are not learning from past incidents. Why not be different?

At Pierre Paul Driving School, we have experienced instructors to prepare you for the driving test. We can also schedule your driving test and provide a car for the same. Contact us today at 718-576-6277 or info@pierrepauldriving.com for more information.