North Carolina drivers may be pleased to learn that awareness regarding the risks associated with distracted driving appears to be at an all-time high. Unfortunately, drivers are still regularly engaging in high-risk activities, such as texting and emailing while behind the wheel.
A recent study completed by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety revealed that smartphone use is up 46% since 2013. To get their data, the group questioned 2,613 licensed drivers, including teenagers. Participants were asked to anonymously describe their own driving habits as well as those they observed from other motorists. According to the survey, 88% of all drivers believe distracted driving is increasing, and more than 50% of the respondents reported regularly observing other motorists texting and emailing in traffic. Unfortunately, 45% of study participants admitted to committing the same mistakes themselves. Alarmingly, 58% of the individuals who were surveyed stated that such behaviors put themselves in serious danger while driving, but most of them continue the habit. Just 40% of the respondents favor an outright ban on cellphone use while driving.
Electronic devices are not the only cause of distracted driving. The AAA Foundation encourages taking steps to limit all distractions behind the wheel. Among the recommendations mentioned in the report are putting smartphones away and programming GPS units prior to departure. Adjusting mirrors, seats and stereo equipment before entering traffic is also recommended. If a driver is committed to eating while behind the wheel, he or she should at least choose easily managed food that is not messy and allows him or her to keep at least one hand on the wheel at all times.
Distracted drivers are a major public safety risk. With over 37,000 traffic fatalities every year, distracted drivers are responsible for many deaths and countless injuries. If a negligent driver has injured a person’s loved one, consulting a qualified car accident lawyer can help him or her determine the full extent of damages and secure fair compensation.