Whether you walk alongside the road, ride a bike near traffic, drive or ride in a vehicle, you could become seriously hurt if a distracted driver collides with you. In the digital age, many drivers lose focus because they are sending messages or using devices for other reasons. Moreover, there are many other distractions that interfere with a driver’s mental focus and cause them to take their hands off the wheel or their eyes off the road.
It is helpful to take a look at data on distracted driving in order to recognize risk factors and the scope of this problem.
Statistics on distracted driving
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that during 2018, estimates suggest that 400,000 people suffered injuries as a result of distracted driving accidents. Moreover, accidents involving a distracted driver claimed more than 2,800 lives in 2018, and roughly 20% of these fatalities involved those not riding in vehicles (such as bicyclists and pedestrians).
Drivers between the ages of 15 and 19 are more likely to drive distracted than those over 20, and many young drivers become distracted due to texting behind the wheel.
Distracted driving risk factors
Drivers become distracted for a host of reasons. Some distractions are visual, while others are manual or cognitive. For example, a driver could look away from the road and lose focus to talk to someone else in the vehicle, or take their hands off of the wheel in order to adjust the volume, eat food or use a map. All of these distractions are dangerous and distracted drivers who cause devastating accidents must answer for their actions.