You might think taking just a second or two to peek at that text from your BFF isn't that big of a deal—but did you realize taking your eyes off the road for just 2 seconds increases your crash risk 24-times?
The team at Zendrive completed the largest distracted driving study conducted to date, analyzing data from 3.1 million drivers who took 570 million trips, covering 5.6 billion miles nationwide between December 2016 and February 2017. They discovered drivers use their phones 88 out of 100 trips, meaning drivers use their phone almost every time they get into the vehicle. Clearly there needs to be some serious changes.
Some crazy concerning statistics they discovered:
- During an hour-long trip, drivers spent an average of 3.5 minutes on their phones—that's equivalent to 105 opportunities an hour for a potential crash. And that's a lot.
- Talking on the phone—even if it's hands-free—increases drivers' risk of crashing by two to four times because your focus is on the conversation, even if your eyes are on the road. Texting makes it eight times more likely that a driver will crash.
- Five seconds is the average time your eyes are off the road while texting—at 55 miles per hour, that's enough time to cover the length of a football field blindfolded.
- Saddest of all, from 2014 to 2015, traffic deaths increased 7 percent, and from 2015 to 2016, deaths increased by 14 percent.
Plenty of states have already enacted laws in an attempt to keep drivers safer on the road: 14 states prohibit drivers from using any handheld device; 46 states ban text messaging while driving; and 100 percent of states should encourage drivers to simply wait until you reach your destination—or make a stop—to use your phone.
In recent news, the Arizona House of Representatives has given initial approval to legislation to ban texting and other cellphone use by drivers with a learners permit or during their first six months of having a regular license.
Sure, it might seem like a pain to have to wait until your stopped to check out your Insta likes. But trust us; your bestie will appreciate you paying full attention while you're on the road and waiting to respond to her text.