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7 stats that show the dangers of distracted driving

Do you think the concern over distracted driving is perhaps a bit overblown? Do you think it's a media sensation more than a real risk?

A lot of people may agree with you. The statistics, however, do not. Below are a few key things to keep in mind:

  • When polled, 54 percent of drivers in California reported being nearly hit or actually hit by people on cellphones. That was just in 2016.
  • A survey also found that many considered texting the biggest distraction, with 44 percent of people picking it.
  • Even so, about 40 percent of people said they'd talked on the phone and made an error behind the wheel.
  • In 2013, distracted drivers caused crashes that hurt around 424,000 people and killed 3,154.
  • When looking at just teen drivers, one out of every 10 who gets involved in a deadly accident is distracted.
  • You're 300 percent more likely to crash when you're visually and manually distracted. This type of distraction includes texting while driving or reaching to pull a cellphone from your pocket.
  • If you do send a text, studies have found that you look away from the road for an average of 5 seconds. You could drive across a whole football field without looking up at 55 miles per hour.

These statistics make it clear that distracted driving is a serious risk, and there's a reason laws are being made to combat things like texting and driving.

That said, you can only limit your own distractions. You could still be hit and injured by someone else, and you must know all of your legal rights.

Source: California Office of Traffic Safety, "Distracted Driving," accessed Dec. 28, 2017

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