A recent poll conducted by the U.S. Department of Transportation and
Consumer Reports magazine confirms that
distracted driving is a pervasive problem, especially among young people. People who responded
to the poll were asked about their driving behavior in the previous 30
days. Here are some of their responses:
- 63 percent of people under 30 had used a handheld phone while driving
- 30 percent of people under 30 had sent text messages while driving
- 41 percent of people over 30 had used a handheld phone while driving
- 9 percent of people over 30 had sent text messages while driving
The survey was fielded in November 2010, was nationally representative,
and involved 1,026 people responding.
The driving habits themselves were not the only worrisome thing. Only 30
percent of people under 30 believed it was very dangerous to use a handheld
phone while driving. Only 36 percent in that age group were “very
concerned” about the problem of distracted driving. This suggests
that many young drivers consider it normal behavior and don't see
it as a real threat.
If distracted driving becomes accepted, we will all be putting ourselves
at great risk on the road. According to the Department of Transportation,
5,500 deaths and almost half a million injuries related to distracted
driving occurred in 2009. This means 15 deaths, and almost 1,370 injuries,
every day of the year.
Car crashes generally are the leading cause of teen deaths, and with such high rates
of distracted driving, that is unlikely to change any time soon.
The Department is undertaking a campaign to educate parents, teachers,
and teens about the dangers of distracted driving. We hope this will eventually
reduce dangerous habits, just as campaigns about the dangers of
drunken driving have done in the past. In the meantime, we encourage all parents to be
a good example for their children by not texting or using a handheld phone
when they’re behind the wheel.
If you are seeking a qualified lawyer in Clearwater or New Port Richey
for guidance after a car accident, Roman & Gaynor is available to
offer you a free consultation.
Contact us today to discuss the details of your case with us.