Lead by Example
While most of us tend to think teens are the biggest texting offenders on the roadways, the surprising results of a recent study found middle-aged drivers have a high rate of collisions due to the use of their cell phones while driving. These results show that very few drivers really have a clear understanding of the risks associated with distracted driving. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported driver distraction was the primary cause of at least 18 percent of all auto crashes in 2012, with more than 3,300 people killed as a result. It is widely believed those numbers were actually much higher in 2012 because many of those who crash as a result of distracted driving do not admit that fact. Three years later, in 2015, the numbers are estimated to be as high as 30 percent or more.
Adults Exhibit Dangerous Driving Behaviors Even When Children are In the Vehicle
Perhaps even more surprisingly, having children in the vehicle did not make a difference in the drivers€™ dangerous behaviors. In other words, despite the fact most parents are totally aware their children copy every move they make, they continue to use their cell phone while driving. Drivers who text while driving create a crash risk 23 times higher than those who pay attention to their driving. Using a cell phone to talk on increased the risks of an automobile accident by as much as eight times. It is widely believed the use of a hands-free device negates those risks, but in fact, the risks of an automobile collision are four times as high when a driver is talking via a hands-free device.
Further Reading: What Type of Driving Personality Are YOU?
Drivers Believe Their Driving Ability is Not Impaired When Talking on Cellphone
The study found that a staggering 75 percent of adults between the ages of 30 and 64 talked on their cellphone while driving. Ninety percent of those surveyed stated they remained very capable drivers, even when talking on their phone. Only about a third of the survey participants were aware that talking on a hands-free phone came with the same risk of being involved in an auto collision as driving while impaired, at the legal limit of .08 percent. The typical passengers in the vehicle with drivers in this age group tended to be minors, and these minors watch everything the adult driver is doing. As justification for taking calls while behind the wheel, the survey participants said they felt pressure to answer work calls while driving.
Teens Follow Their Parents€™ Example
Despite the fact most parents tell caution their teens about texting or talking and driving, 91 percent of teens have witnessed those same parents talking on their phone while driving, and 59 percent have observed their a parent texting while behind the wheel. To compare those numbers to the teenage drivers, about 90 percent admit to talking on their cell phone when they are driving and about 79 percent admit they have sent or read a text while driving. It is hard to tell our teens not to text or talk on the phone while driving, when we€”parents and grandparents€”are doing just that.
Contact Our Denver Car Accident Lawyers
Like it or not, children learn from their parents€™ behavior, and no one€”no matter their age or experience level€”should text and drive or even talk and drive. No phone call or text is worth causing a death. If you have been the victim of a distracted driver and suffered serious injury, it is time to speak to a knowledgeable personal injury attorney. Your attorney can give you the time you need to heal, while aggressively fighting for your rights to compensation for your injuries. Contact the Denver Law Firm of John R. Fuller, P.C. today at 303-597-4500 for a free initial consultation.