Every so often, a new poll or study about distracted driving is released. Recently, a poll on the subject of distracted driving was published by Kanetix. It reveals some very interesting and thought-provoking things about driving while distracted. While people are generally aware of the risks of texting while driving, for instance, it appears that a significant percentage of them continue to do so. Similarly, there seems to be very little stigma associated with drinking or eating while driving, even though such behaviors technically fall into the realm of distracted driving. Which distractions are the worst when it comes to operating a vehicle? Find out for yourself by checking out the following information.
Distracted Driving and Car Accidents
According to a study that was conducted a few years ago by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, or NHTSA, distracted driving is to blame for approximately 80 percent of all car accidents. The study primarily focused on distractions like texting while driving and chatting on cell phones while driving, but it lists eating and drinking as issues as well. While it is dangerous for a driver to take his mind off of his driving, which happens when he takes a phone call, it is just as dangerous for him to remove his hands from the wheel. Eating and drinking often require drivers to do so.
One Second Can Change Everything
People often lose sight of the fact that they are traveling along at very high rates of speed while driving. Inside a car, glancing down to remove a pickle from a hamburger may seem like a reasonable thing to do. In that split second of time, however, all sorts of things can go horribly awry. For as much attention as texting and talking while driving have been receiving, it is surprising that more attention hasn’t been directed at eating and drinking while driving as well.
The Most Common Distraction
An unacceptable number of people admit to texting or talking while driving. However, an extremely significant percentage of people admit to eating or drinking while driving, which is yet another reason that these behaviors should not be downplayed. According to the Kanetix poll, 38.8 percent of respondents admitted to drinking or eating while driving. Clearly, people are less ashamed of doing these things while driving. In the poll, drinking and eating while driving was the most common type of risky behavior exhibited by drivers. Despite that fact, though, very little is said or done about the issue.
Texting and Talking While Driving
Texting and talking on cell phones while driving are very dangerous behaviors. There is no question about that. Despite the ongoing campaigns that have been waged in many jurisdictions, 12.6 percent of poll respondents admit to talking on cell phones while driving. Another 11.4 percent of them admit to texting while driving. Whether talking or texting is more dangerous is up for debate. Many experts agree that any activity that distracts your mind is risky while operating a vehicle. In other words, your hands don’t necessarily have to be occupied to be distracted while driving.
Eliminating Risky Behaviors
In many jurisdictions, laws have been passed to ban the use of cell phones and other mobile devices while driving. As a result, police officers are often on the lookout for these types of behaviors. Based on the fact that so many people admit to eating or drinking while driving, though, it is clear that there are few laws that address the problem. Some would argue that banning drivers from eating or drinking while driving would be futile, but it could end up saving many lives.