Study: Most drivers believe that distracted driving is on the rise

A new survey conducted by AAA reveals that many drivers believe that distracted driving is on the rise.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that every day in the U.S., more than 1,000 people are injured and approximately nine people are killed in a collision related to distracted driving. While federal estimates suggest that distracted driving accidents have declined slightly in recent years, a new survey conducted by AAA claims that nine out of every 10 drivers believe this issue is on the rise.

The survey results

Not only do those surveyed believe that distracted driving is an increasing problem, but they also worry more about this issue than the following driving-related hazards:

  • 75 percent were most worried about traffic congestion
  • 68 percent were most worried about aggressive driving
  • 43 percent were most concerned about drunken driving
  • 55 percent were most worried about drugged driving

Based on research directly from AAA, which involved teenage drivers and dash cam videos, it is estimated that in serious car accidents today, distraction is a contributing factor in 58 percent. However, federal estimates state that distraction is only involved in 14 percent of reported collisions.

While drivers may be worried about distracted driving, especially since distraction-related accidents are so frequent, most drivers have still engaged in a distracting activity behind the wheel. The results of AAA's recent survey state that among the respondents, 35 percent of drivers had sent a text or email while driving while nearly 45 percent had read one.

Defining distraction

Although most people think of cellphone use and driving when they hear about distracted driving, the CDC defines distracted driving as any activity that takes a driver's full attention away from the road in front of him or her. For example, using a GPS device to get directions, applying makeup while commuting, eating or drinking and switching the channel on the radio are all examples of driver distractions.

Additionally, distracted driving activities can be divided into three separate categories: cognitive distraction, visual distraction and manual distraction. Cognitive distraction occurs when drivers stop thinking about driving, visual distraction happens when drivers look away from the road and manual distraction occurs when drivers remove their hands from the steering wheel.

Reach out to an attorney

Those in California who were harmed in a car accident caused by a distracted driver may suffer from financial, physical and emotional harm. For this reason, accident victims should contact an attorney in their area for legal guidance and advice after they are involved in a collision.