Honolulu’s Distracted Drivers On The Rise
Distracted driving is on the rise in the Honolulu area, not to mention the rest of the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that an estimated 15 people are killed and 1,200 injured each day, nationwide, in accidents involving distracted drivers.
Driving distractions manifest themselves in various forms:
- Texting and using a cell/smart phone (including hands-free phones)
- Eating a snack (or meal) and sipping on something
- Fussing with your hair and other personal hygiene
- Adjusting the radio, CD player, or AC
- Talking to passengers
- Watching videos
- Reading or checking out a map or GPS system
Types of distraction include visual—taking your eyes off the road; manual—taking your hands off the wheel; and cognitive—your mind drifts from the task of driving. Texting is particularly dangerous because it involves all three types of distraction.
In 2011, 3,331 U.S. fatalities were recorded as a result of distracted driving; over 387,000 were injured. The CDC conducted a study in 2011 which revealed that in the 30-day period prior to being surveyed, 69 percent of U.S. drivers ages 18–64 reported talking on their cell phones while driving. In that same time frame, 31 percent of U.S. drivers in the same age group reported texting or e-mailing while driving.
Not surprisingly, young drivers’ track records are less than admirable when it comes to distracted driving. In addition, studies have found that kids who text while driving are over twice as likely to drive with someone who has been drinking, and over five times as likely themselves to drink and drive than those who don’t text while driving. Breaking the younger generation’s habit of texting while driving may be the key to quelling it in future generations. Laws prohibiting texting while driving are becoming more widespread, and public awareness programs hopefully will help.
If you’ve been the victim of a distracted driver, contact an experienced Honolulu auto accident attorney to protect your rights.
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