According to research, 3,154 people were killed in a car crash involving distracted driving. The disturbing trend marks a steady increase of over 6 percent from 2012 statistics. While distracted driving continues to take thousands of lives each year and cause over 424,000 injuries each year, the practice is still prevalent among drivers.

How prevalent is distracted driving?

Drivers in their 20s are most at risk for getting involved in an accident. Drivers in this age group are responsible for 27 percent of crashes involving distracted driving. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that taking one’s eyes of the road for as little as two seconds doubles chances of a car crash. Research from the 2014 Traffic Safety Culture Index reports that 79 percent of motorists reported reading a text message while driving. At any point in the day, 660,000 drivers are using cell phone devices while they are driving.

What are the three categories of distracted driving?

Cognitive distraction is described as driving without focus. This could involve talking to others while driving or listening to radio or podcast. A person could become distracted by their surroundings just as they could be using a cell phone. The next category is visual distraction, which involves looking at other things while driving. The person could be managing their kids’ disagreement in the backseat, fumbling with a GPS or other adjusting the radio while driving. Manual distraction may involve a driver taking their hands off the wheel while they are driving. This could be a combination of eating and drinking while driving the vehicle. All of these forms of distractions put drivers at risk of becoming involved in a potentially fatal car accident.

While 85 percent of people believe that distracted driving is a serious issue, people still openly engage in the dangerous behavior. While there is still a tendency among drivers to disapprove of the behavior, it is still all too common among drivers. The prevalence of cognitive, visual or manual distracted driving still remains a major public safety issue for drivers across all walks of life.

If you’ve been in a traffic accident because of distracted driving, call personal injury attorney Eric Harron at 512-963-8855.