MANY DRIVERS ACKNOWLEDGE TAKING RISKS
Evidence that distracted driving, especially distraction from cellphones, is a major hazard has been piling up for years. Nationwide, distracted driving was involved in 14 percent of all traffic accidents in 2015, according to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. Approximately 3,500 people were killed in distracted-driving crashes, about 10 percent of total traffic fatalities.
Experts say texting or using a device is especially dangerous because it involves cognitive, visual and manual distractions that take a driver’s attention off the road. A recent report from Cambridge Mobile Telematics, based on data from hundreds of thousands of drivers, showed phone distraction occurred during 52 percent of trips that resulted in a crash. In 2013, researchers in New York reported texting was a greater hazard to teen drivers than drinking alcohol. In late March, a 20-year-old driver admitted to texting when he crashed a pickup truck into a church bus in Texas, killing 13 people, according to news reports.