Alabama residents have no doubt been hearing more and more about the dangers of distracted driving in recent years. This is with good reason. Distraction.gov statistics indicate that over 430,000 people were hurt in motor vehicle accidents caused by distracted drivers in 2014. That same year, close to 3,200 people are said to have lost their lives to distracted drivers.
Just what is distracted driving? There really is no one action that can be identified as distracted driving. This is because a distraction can take many forms. Some are mental and take a driver’s attention away from the road. Other distractions are manual and take a person’s hands off the steering wheel or gear shift lever. A third type of distraction is visual and takes a driver’s eyes off of the act of driving.
Texting and some handheld use of phones even to make calls may include all three of the types of distractions. For this reason, mobile phone use is targeted as a major distraction. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released data from 2015 that shows efforts to curb texting and handheld use of phones while behind the wheel may actually be making positive strides.
Overall, the visible use of phones to make calls or otherwise manipulate devices dropped or remained the same while visible use of headsets increased. When it comes to holding a phone to the ear, women were found to be more likely culprits than their male counterparts although reductions in both groups were seen. Drivers under 25 were noted to more frequently manipulate phones while driving than other groups.