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Distracted Driving: What Are People Doing?

Other Distracted Driving Behaviors, Besides Texting, That Will Surprise You

While texting and driving is the cause of over 1 million crashes over the past year, this is not the only bad habit that drivers have that causes dangerous driving situations. While texting is a very common behavior, Smartphones have brought about numerous other dangerous behaviors including checking and updating social media, sending emails, and video chatting. A recent study uncovered that approximately 70 percent of drivers are using their Smartphone in some manner or form while behind the wheel.

Of the 70 percent of drivers using their Smartphones, 40 percent are checking or posting to social media, 30 percent are browsing the Web, and 10 percent are video chatting with someone else. The study referenced here was conducted by Braun Research and polled over 2,000 United States residents between the ages of 16 and 65 who admitted to using their Smartphone at least once a day while driving. In a separate study, the National Safety Council found that over 25 percent of crashes cited cell phone use as a contributing factor, a statistic that has been growing over the past few years.

Aside from these findings, there has been additional interesting information uncovered from these Smartphone use and driving studies. Despite the many dangers associated with texting and driving and the many warnings that drivers receive, almost two-thirds of drivers participate in this behavior on a regular basis. Additionally, drivers who admit to Tweeting while driving say that they “do it all the time.” Finally, texting and tweeting are not the only risky behaviors drivers have – 17 percent take photos, 14 percent post photos on Instagram, and over 10 percent admit to taking videos while behind the wheel.

With the increases in accidents and fatalities as a result of Smartphone use and driving, 46 states have banned the act of texting while driving and some have even stopped the use of handheld devices all together. While taking a couple of seconds to check an email, send a text, or do something else on your smartphone may not seem like a big deal, remember that your vehicle can drive almost the distance of a football field while you check “just one thing.” Smartphone use while driving is very dangerous and responding to that message or uploading that photo is not worth your life.

*Photo Courtesy of Wes Schaeffer via Creative Commons License