Drivers who use their phones or other electronic devices make the streets of Tulsa, Oklahoma City and surrounding areas much less safe for everyone. Many drivers are aware of the risks associated with driving while distracted; however, recent studies suggest that motorists continue to engage in behaviors that take their focus off the roads.
A personal injury lawyer knows that motorists who use any kind of electronic device are at significantly greater risk of becoming involved in a collision. This is true even for hands-free devices. Despite the fact that the danger of distracted driving has been well-publicized, there has actually been a steady increase in people using electronic devices behind the wheel over the past six year period of time.
Distracted Driving On the Rise
Each year, State Farm conducts a survey of drivers to learn about their behaviors and attitudes related to driving while distracted. USA Today recently reported on some of the changes that have occurred since State Farm began to take this survey in 2009.
While the number of people using handheld cell phones has declined over this six year period, the number of people surfing the web behind the wheel has risen. In 2009, only 13 percent of survey respondents said that they used the Internet while driving. Only 15 percent of respondents said that they had used email behind the wheel in 2009 and only nine percent admitted to using their phone or other electronic device in order to check into social media or social networking websites as they drive.
By 2014, the number of people using the Internet doubled to 26 percent. The number of people emailing almost doubled, from 15 to 26 percent. And, the number of people using a social network more than doubled from nine to 20 percent.
There are a few different possible reasons why drivers seem to be doing all of these distracting tasks more often. One issue is that smartphones have simply become more common and more advanced, presenting broader opportunities for drivers to lose focus. However, it is also likely that motorists are simply overestimating their own driving abilities and ability to multitask and still pay attention even if they are on the Internet. Many motorists think that talking on a handheld phone is dangerous because they might be holding the phone for a long time, but that just checking their email or Twitter feed quickly is harmless. This is clearly not true, since focusing on the phone in any way causes your attention to be diverted from the road.
Another big problem is that 63 percent of motorists think that it is safe for them to use their phone to check in quickly when their cars are stopped at an intersection. Since 36 percent of U.S. car accidents happen at intersections, it is a big mistake for motorists to believe that it is safe to look away and divert their attention from the road at these locations. Drivers need to remember to stay focused all the time if they want to reduce the risk of a crash occurring.
An attorney at Lawter & Associates, Attorneys at Law, PLLC can help after a motor vehicle accident. Call 866-584-1027 or 866-584-1028 for a free case evaluation. Serving Tulsa, Oklahoma City and surrounding areas.