The St. Louis, Mo. suburb of Brentwood recently passed what some have called drastic steps to combat distracted driving. However, there is ample data that indicates such preventive actions may be increasingly necessary.
The new Brentwood measure outlaws drivers from looking into a mirror for grooming, inputting information into a GPS device, and reading anything other than the vehicle’s gauges.
Dramatic? Consider this: A new survey shows that drivers are actually surfing the Web while behind the wheel, and the number of those doing so has more than doubled over the last six years.
State Farm recently released its annual survey of distracted drivers in this country. In 2009, the number of drivers admitting to using their smartphones to access the Internet was 13 percent. In 2015, that number jumped to 29 percent.
The survey included about 1,000 respondents of drivers 18 years of age and older.
Ninety nine percent of drivers 18 to 29 years-old reported having a smartphone. Ninety two percent of drivers 40 to 49 years-old did as well. And 69 percent of drivers 65 years-old and older surveyed had a smartphone. In 2011, only 23 percent of the drivers in this age group owned one.
Dangerous Distracted Driving Behaviors
Other top negligent driving behaviors in the survey include:
· Driving and talking on a hand-held phone – 51 percent of respondents
· Driving and reading social media messages – 21 percent
· Driving and listening to GPS navigation directions – 73 percent
For any driver who thinks he or she can safely multi-task, a new United Kingdom study says differently. It found that vision and hearing share the same space in the brain, so when a person concentrates on a visual task, hearing temporarily recedes.
According to the federal government, more than 3,100 people died in crashes involving distracted drivers in 2013, the most recent report year. Despite more educational and legislative measures, the dangers of distracted drivers remain substantial.
If you were seriously hurt or had a family member killed in a crash caused by a distracted driver, an attorney who handles catastrophic motor vehicle accident cases can pursue just compensation on your behalf from the negligent driver.
The choice of a lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely on advertising.