Texting might be the most prominent contributor to lethal road distractions, but it does stand on its own. A new survey of 2,000 Americans conducted by Zebra outed some of the other frequent and often underreported offenders.
From screaming kids to selfies, let’s examine the top factors keeping Americans preoccupied behind the wheel and its mortality impact.
The most frequent offenders
About nine people are killed a day due to a distracted driver, and an additional 1,000 are injured. Distracted driving accounted for 3,450 deaths back in 2016, 3,166 deaths in 2017 and 4,637 deaths just last year.
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Texting plays a colossal role, unsurprisingly but work-related messages do a lot of the legwork for young people in particular. Thirty-seven percent of respondents between the ages of 18 and 34 said that they feel intensely pressured to respond to work emails and messages while they are operating a vehicle. This is more than 10% than the national average that identifies with this pressure. Of course, not all phone distractions belong to overachievement- other significant digital factors include: browsing social media, taking photos (one out of three female respondents said they took photos while they drove), watching videos, and streaming shows.
The severity of these statistics is actually affected by the kind of phone each respondent had. Sixteen percent of iPhone users claimed to never get distracted while driving, while 23% of Android users said the same. Compared to Android users, iPhone users were also twice as likely to video chat while driving, use Instagram, stream shows on Netflix and Hulu, and take photos and videos. Ten percent of iPhone users confessed to watching Youtube while driving, compared to 4% of Android users.
What’s more, it was determined that a driver is eight times more likely to get into a car crash when reaching for something.
Older Americans had different pressing distractions, namely children. Eighty-seven percent of adults with small children in the car, reported finding it challenging to remain focused on the road. Thirty-one percent of participants said that they were more distracted when their dogs were in the car with them.
The other major funder of these rates is alcohol consumption. Drunk driving is responsible for twenty-nine deaths a day and ten thousand per year.
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