A new comprehensive study on driver distractions published in the Journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that American drivers are distracted while driving more than 50% of the time. The primary distraction is, of course, the cell phone. The new study which was funded by the U.S. Government tracked more than 3,500 drivers who agreed to allow the researchers to install cameras, sensors, and radars on their vehicles. The researchers discovered the following data:
- Drivers dialing a phone 0.14% of the time, increasing the risk of an accident by 12 times.
- Reaching for cell phones increase the risk of an accident by 5 times.
- Drivers texting 1.91% of the time increasing the risk of an accident by 6 times.
- Drivers talking on cell phones 3.24% of the time, doubling the risk of an accident.
- Other Distractions Observed:
- Talking with another passenger 14.6% of the time, increasing the risk of an accident by 1.4 times.
- Driving under emotional distress 0.2% of the time, increasing the risk of an accident by 1,000%!
- Alcohol and/or drug intoxication 0.1% of the time, increasing the risk of an accident by 40 times.
The research concluded that 4 million out of 11 million accidents could be avoided if distractions were eliminated.