A recent poll shows that despite being aware of the dangers of texting and driving and other activities that contribute to distracted driving, many Americans still engage in these unsafe driving practices. In an online poll conducted by Harris Interactive, 90 percent of the 2,045 adults who participated in the survey said texting while driving was wrong, yet over one-third of participants admitted they read and send text messages when they are driving. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2012, there were 3,328 people killed in crashes caused by a distracted driver. Another 420,000 people were injured. The risk of getting into a vehicle crash triples when a person uses a cell phone or other mobile device. The large number of distracted driving victims has spurred national campaigns by many organizations to educate the public about the dangers of distracted driving. According to poll participants’ responses, that education appears to be working:
- Ninety percent of participants said reading and sending text message while driving is dangerous;
- Seventy percent said talking while holding a mobile phone is dangerous;
- More than half of participants said checking text messages while stopped at red lights is dangerous;
- Over thirty percent said even talking on a hands-free mobile phone is dangerous;
- However, despite how dangerous people feel using a mobile device while driving is, they don’t appear to be heeding their own advice;
- Almost 75 percent of participants said they talk on a mobile phone while driving;
- Almost half of admitted to reading text messages while driving and almost forty percent said they send text messages while behind the wheel;
- Over thirty percent admitted they use mobile devices to look things up while they are driving;
- Twenty-five percent admitted to posting on their social media sites, even though they are behind the wheel of a vehicle at the time; and
- For drivers between the ages of 18 to 36 years old, 25 percent admitted to talking on the phone, reading and sending text messages on a frequent basis while they are driving.
Being a passenger in a vehicle where the driver is engaging in dangerous driving habits does not seem to make a difference, either. Two-thirds say they ride with drivers who talk on the phone while driving, and half of the participants say they have been a passenger where the driver is reading or sending text messages. If you have been injured in a crash that was caused by the negligence of a distracted driver, contact an experienced New Braunfels personal injury attorney to find out what legal compensation you may be entitled to for pain and loss.