Distracted driving refers to any activity someone engages in while driving that decreases their ability to focus on the road. Using a cell phone or other electronic device is a common cause of distracted driving.
Distracted driving is dangerous because it can contribute to car crashes which result in injuries and fatalities.
A look at distracted driving statistics in Washington
As of October 2022, there have been 7,608 automobile crashes that involved distracted driving in Washington. In these accidents, there were 298 suspected major injuries and another 769 suspected minor injuries. Unfortunately, there have also been 70 fatalities that the state of Washington linked to distracted driving. Although many crashes did not result in injury or death, car accidents can cause property damage, expenses and emotional stress.
Causes of distracted driving
Using a smartphone or mobile device while driving can be very distracting. Sending and reading text messages is particularly risky, as a driver’s eyes must leave the road for several seconds. Drivers should wait to use electronic devices or consider investing in wireless accessories and accessibility tools that enable hands-free cell phone use. Washington State links cell phone use while driving to 18 serious injuries and a fatality so far this year.
Teenage drivers should be especially careful to avoid distracted driving. The state attributes 25 suspected serious injuries and six deaths to accidents with distracted young drivers, including nine injuries involving cell phone use. Eating food and talking with passengers can also divide the attention of drivers and contribute to crashes.
Operating a motor vehicle is a difficult task that requires constant attention. Distracted driving is a major cause of car accidents that can have serious consequences.