Distracted driving has become a threat to the safety of road users in Illinois and around the country. And as the percentage of accidents and traffic fatalities attributed to distracted driving continue to rise, lawmakers seek to deter this action through harsher penalties.
Distracted driving defined
Distracted driving happens when a person operates a motor vehicle despite giving all or part of his or her attention to something else. Distracted driving often involves a mobile device like a cellphone or tablet. But drivers can also become distracted by things like food, drink, and other people.
A study recently completed by Netradyne, a firm that deals with artificial intelligence, sought answers to how drivers viewed the problem of distracted driving. For the most part, people believe that distracted driving is a serious threat to their safety and a likely cause of motor vehicle accidents. The respondents also believe that driving as a whole is less safe than in past years.
The study demonstrated that drinking liquids while driving a car is the most common distraction. However, using a mobile device to interact with social media involved more severe consequences for survey respondents.
Twenty percent of study respondents report a punitive action like paying a fine or receiving points on their license resulted from distracted driving. One in seven study participants says they suffered injuries or damage to a vehicle when distracted driving caused an accident.
The survey took place online and involved more than 1,200 participants aged 18 or over. Only licensed drivers were part of the study. People who completed the survey either owned their car or drove one owned by their families. Approximately half of the study participants said driving is more dangerous now than in the past. Four out of five respondents said they were safe drivers. Half of the drivers admit they could drive a little safer at times.
The danger of accidents caused by distracted drivers continues to increase in both frequency and seriousness. A personal injury attorney can often assist victims in their quest for compensation.