For many of us, driving is something we do every day. Driving may feel so routine that we feel we can do other things while driving, such as eating, talking/texting on the phone, changing the radio station, applying makeup, reading directions on your GPS, or adjusting the temperature in the vehicle. However, doing any one of these things distracts you from driving.
April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), at least 3,166 people were killed in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers in 2017. That means every day at least 9 people die and 100 more are injured in distracted driving related crashes.
Distracted driving is an epidemic across the country. Every day you hear ‘distracted driving is killing people,’ and it is, but people still continue to do it. Here are some staggering statistics associated with distracted driving:
- More than 2 in 3 drivers (70%) report talking on a cell phone while driving within the past 30 days. Nearly 1 in 3 drivers (31%) report doing this fairly often or regularly.
- More than 2 in 5 drivers (42%) admit to reading a text message or email while driving in the past 30 days, while 12% report doing this fairly often or regularly.
- Nearly 1 in 3 drivers (32%) admit to typing or sending a text or email over the past months, while 8% say they do so fairly often or regularly.
What if you can’t stop driving distracted? Aside from having to pay a hefty fine, being ticketed for distracted driving will also drive up a motorist’s auto insurance premiums by an average 16%, or about $226 a year. Of course, the premium penalties charged to distracted driving offenders varies from one state to another.
You can certainly bet that premium penalties charged to distracted drivers will only accelerate further and faster down the road, especially if fatalities and injuries related to the unfortunate practice continue to tick upward.