Distracted Driving Is Our Biggest Fear
Have you ever noticed another driver looking at their cell phone while you are driving in the next lane? Do you ever wonder if that person can actually safely drive and read a text or worse, send one? Most people will answer yes to that question. Just in time for April, which is Distracted Driving Awareness Month, the AAA Foundation has released a new survey that reveals what American drivers are saying about this issue. Every year, the AAA surveys a large group of drivers over a one month period to find out what they are experiencing out on the road. It turns out that the most feared behavior on the road these days is distracted driving. About 88 percent of those surveyed say that this is their biggest worry, more than drunk or drugged driving and more than aggressive driving.
We all know that distracted driving is a major safety issue and causes serious and fatal car accidents. But do you know that it has now become the most feared behavior on the road? Despite the fact that one in three people have a family member who has been seriously injured or fatally harmed in a motor vehicle accident with varying causes and one in five have experienced an accident themselves, distracted driving still tempts them.
Unlike the concerns about DUI or aggressive driving, most people admit that at times they either look at their cell phones, or send a text or email while driving even though they know how dangerous that behavior can be, possibly leading to accident or injury. In fact almost 45 percent of drivers admit to reading incoming messages on their phones, and nearly 35 percent admit to sending a message while driving.
Most Drivers Agree with Legislating Cell Phone Use
Right here in Georgia, there are efforts to enact a law that would stop folks from holding their phones while driving. Families who have lost loved ones due to distracted driving crashes are supportive of this effort. An interesting part of this survey also deals with what drivers think about legislation to curtail this behavior. Most drivers favor legislation that would prohibit the use of a cell phone for messaging while driving, whether by text, email or other. Most drivers also support the regulating of hand held cell phone use. States like California do not allow cell phones to be held at all, even when using navigation apps. Phones must be cradled or put down while driving. Less than 50 percent of those surveyed would favor a law that completely prohibits the use of phones in vehicles. So where does that leave driving and use of cell phones across America. Well, the apparent irony or disconnect is that while most people know how dangerous it is to use a phone while driving, they do admit to doing so themselves.
Knowing how tempting it is to respond to a message quickly when a family member or our boss is trying to reach us, newer phones are smarter than we are. Many phones now stop delivering messages while your vehicle is moving to avoid this temptation which is so dangerous. We have become habituated to the instant use of our phones and when we cannot respond for a while to a communication, we seem to feel that we have fallen short.
Scholle Law urges drivers to put their phones down while driving. Let your smart phone notify the sender that you are unable to reply until you can safely do so. Statistics tell the story. You might think that you are able to drive and manage road conditions or traffic, but every day we see that distracted driving is getting worse. Our brains aren’t actually equipped to do the important task of driving and sending a message using our hands that need to be on the wheel or using our eyes that need to be on the road.