Driving while distracted


Although most drivers support measures to enforce a no texting rule while driving, US motorists surveyed said they would use a cell phone and text while driving. This is according to new data released by the Transportation Department.

This information came from a study of driver behavior launched in order to help regulators understand why some drivers still text and talk on cell regardless of the well-known dangers of doing so.

“What’s clear from all of the information we have is that driver distraction continues to be a major problem,” said David Strickland, the head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The information was released as the data was finalized on the traffic fatality figures for 2010. There were 32,855 people were killed on US roads which was about 1,000 fewer than in 2009 when 33,808 were killed. This decline is even more impressive when you consider that Americans drove 46 billion more miles last year, a 1.6% increase.

Distracted driving deaths – deaths occurring while drivers are distracted for a variety of reasons – totaled 3, 092. The agency believes the total is very likely much higher as drivers are unwilling to admit they were texting or making a phone call. There may also be a lack of witnesses to corroborate a distracted driver or the driver may be the one killed.

One key finding was that more than 75% of drivers said they would answer a call while driving and they rarely consider traffic conditions when doing so. Many admitted to texting while driving. And in the greatest show of hypocrisy, those surveyed said they would feel in danger if they were a passenger in a car where the driving was speaking on cell.

Source: Reuters


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