If you are regularly on the road in Oceanside or elsewhere in San Diego County, it is critical to be aware of the risks of distracted driving. Not only should you be taking precautions yourself to avoid getting distracted behind the wheel of your own car, but you should also be aware of the significant likelihood that another motorist on the road is engaged in distracted driving at any given moment. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) emphasizes that distracted driving collisions have increased significantly as more car and truck drivers have begun using smartphones, and more crashes have resulted from talking or texting while driving.
A new study published in The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery suggests that the distracted driving problem may be even bigger than previously suspected. Indeed, the authors of the study reported that more than 99 percent of motorists who have been involved in collisions admit to driving while distracted at least once in the last 12 months.
Details of the Recent Distracted Driving Study
The authors of the recent study surveyed a total of 1,378 hospital patients who were being treated for injuries in motor vehicle collisions. The patients were surveyed anonymously and were “asked about their habits in regard to distracted driving and whether distractions contributed to their current injury or to previous crashes.”
The results of the survey revealed that even more motorists may drive distracted than previously believed. To be sure, 99.7% of the respondents admitted to distracted driving at least once in the last year, and nearly 18% admitted that they were currently being treated for injuries in a collision that resulted from their distracted driving. An additional 31% of the patients surveyed admitted that they had been involved in a previous collision that resulted from their own distracted driving. Almost half of the respondents admitted that they had been involved in a “close call” incident due to their distracted driving, or a near-miss that could have been a crash.
Causes of Distracted Driving Included More Than Smart Phones
While smartphone use has been linked to a rise in motor vehicle collision rates caused by distracted driving, the recent study underscores that distracted driving can involve many different kinds of dangerous actions or behaviors behind the wheel that do not necessarily involve technology. The most commonly cited distractions by the survey respondents included “talking with a passenger and listening to or adjusting the radio.” Beyond those distractions, the patients surveyed reported distracted driving accidents or close calls resulting from eating, drinking, daydreaming, looking at something outside the vehicle, and mobile phone use.
Only about 40% of the surveyed patients said that they had used a handheld device to make phone calls, and 35% admitted to texting while driving “on rare occasions.” Of those surveyed—keeping in mind that more than 99 admitted to distracted driving—about 60% said that they routinely pulled over to a safe spot before reading or sending a text message or making a call. This study in The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery highlights the serious risks of distracted driving.
Contact an Oceanside Car Accident Attorney
Do you need help filing a distracted driving collision claim? One of our Oceanside car accident attorneys can assist you. Contact the Walton Law Firm for more information.
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