Teens Against Distracted Driving founder, Jason Epstein, discusses a new study that came out regarding distracted driving
As a Bellevue car accident attorney, one of my main focuses is preventing distracted driving by educating drivers, both young and old, about the dangers of driving while distracted. As the month of April comes to a close, so does the National Distracted Driving Awareness campaign. When most people think about distracted driving, they think about using a phone to talk or text. However, there are many different kinds of distractions that can affect a driver’s ability to operate a vehicle safely.
The 2010 SmartDrive Distracted Driving Index came out earlier this week. In this study, the behavior of commercial drivers was assessed primarily through video and audio recordings of nearly 35,000 drivers. One of the major findings of the study is that the drivers in the top 5% as far as distractions go were distracted 67% of the time when a risky driving maneuver was performed – nearly six times more than the rest of the drivers. The study also outlined the top nine most common distractions. The top three were object in hand, talking on a cell phone, and eating or drinking food or beverages. Smoking, talking on a mobile phone using a hands-free device, and operating a handheld device were also in the top nine. This study proves that there is a very solid connection between distractions and fundamental driving errors that can lead to collisions.
Distracted driving accounted for nearly 5,500 deaths and 60,000 injuries in 2009. Studies have shown that driving distracted is equivalent to driving with a blood alcohol content of .08, the legal limit in Washington State. Distracted driving is a problem that has increased as of late with new smartphones and social media. That’s why I created Teens Against Distracted Driving: to educate younger drivers who are less experienced and more likely to drive distracted about the added dangers that distracted driving creates.