We can’t emphasize enough how dangerous distracted driving can be. Every day it seems like there a news story about an accident stemming from cellphone usage or a survey conducted which shows the prevalence of the habit. This latest story concerns the latter.
A survey recently conducted in Washington highlights the regularity of various dangerous driving practices, and not surprisingly, cellphone usage is the most common. 78% of people between the ages of 18 and 24 admit that they use their phones behind the wheel in a way that could be considered breaking the law. This is the age range that most typically uses a phone, but they’re far from the only ones; other drivers used phones at high rates as well.
This comes even as people learn from public safety campaigns geared toward other dangerous behaviors and adjust their driving as needed. 98% of people report using their seatbelt whenever they’re in an automobile, while three quarters of respondents report sticking to the speed limit. And 90% of individuals reported an understanding of being placed under arrest if they’re pulled over while driving drunk, which likely explains why fewer than one out of every ten respondents said they refrain from driving if they’ve drank alcohol in the past couple hours.
The lesson is: drive safe. Distracted driving is finally being looked upon as being as dangerous as intoxicated driving, but we still have a ways to go before attitudes toward it shift. As campaigns show us, though, it is possible for a shift in perception to occur.