April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month in Oklahoma

The A&M TeamPersonal Injury

Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of accidents – and deaths – in the United States, which is why April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month. It is imperative that we bring attention to this growing problem, as it continues to claim the lives of both our young and old. Thanks to the influx of technology and smartphones, namely, navigating the roadways of today has become increasingly dangerous. People aren’t just talking on their phones, they are also texting, checking Facebook, responding to emails, and Snapchatting. This is creating a huge problem, as these are major distractions that impact a driver’s ability to safely get to and from their destination. Not only do distracted drivers pose serious dangers to themselves and their passengers, but other drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists.

With April being Distracted Driving Awareness Month, we are able to look at some of the most pressing questions surrounding texting and safe driving practices. In many cases, the drivers that are most distracted by their smartphones are teens, but this is not always the case. We are a country that is constantly on-the-go, which is both a blessing and a curse. We are always checking our email, responding to text messages, listening to voicemail, and making sure our Facebook profile is up to par — even if this means putting others at risk. For Distracted Driving Awareness Month, we thought it would be helpful to look at some of the statistics surrounding distracted driving. For starters, the frequency of texting (the top distraction of drivers today) per age group breaks down as follows:

  • 16-18: 31%
  • 19-24: 42%
  • 25-29: 45%

As these numbers show, that the majority of drivers who text while driving are not teenagers, in fact. This dispels one of the most common myths associated with distracted driving, as many people assume it is teenagers and new drivers who are making the often fatal mistake of being on their phone while manning a car. This is one of the most important lessons of National Distracted Driving Month, and one that we would like to reiterate with a few additional statistics:

  • Of the 2.5 million car accidents that occur every year in the U.S., 1.6 million of these involve a cell phone
    • That equates to 64% of all road accidents
  • Every year, approximately 421,000 people are injured in car accidents that involve a distracted driver
  • Every year, more than 330,000 accidents are caused by texting
    • This means that more than 78% of all distracted drivers are distracted by their phone
  • 1 out of 4 accidents in the U.S. are caused by texting
  • Drivers who text while behind the wheel are 6 times more likely to get in a car accident than drunk driving
  • Every time you read a text message while driving, you are distracted by a minimum of 5 seconds
  • 11 teenagers die every day in the U.S. because they were texting while driving
  • 21% of all teenagers who died in a car accident were using a cell phone at the time of the accident
  • 25% of all teen drivers respond to at least one text message while driving

We hope these statistics show you just how serious distracted driving is, and why National Distracted Driving Month is so important to all of us here at Atkins & Markoff.