Distracted Driving in California on The Rise
The Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) and the California Highway Patrol (CHP) have recently issued a press release about the findings of a new study conducted in California about distracted driving. Apparently, cell phone use while driving is on the rise. Nearly 10 percent of all observed motorists were using their cell phones while operating a motor vehicle. This is especially disheartening news, because aggressive public outreach campaigns and increased law enforcement efforts haven’t seemed to help the situation.
Nearly 10 Percent of Drivers Using Cell Phones in California
The study was conducted by multiple agencies including the OTS and the University of California, Berkeley Safe Transportation Research and Education Center. Their 2014 study found that cell phone usage behind the wheel was at about 6.6 percent. Unfortunately, the percentage has increased to 9.2 percent in the 2015 study.
Distracted Driving Across The Nation
- In 2013, 3,154 people were killed in distracted driving wrecks.
- Approximately 424,000 people were injured in crashes involving distracted drivers in 2013.
- Drivers in their 20s make up 27 percent of the distracted drivers in fatal crashes.
- As of December 2013, 153.3 billion text messages were sent in the U.S. every month.
- At any given daylight moment across the nation, approximately 660,000 drivers are using cell phones or manipulating electronic devices behind the wheel.
- Headset cell phone use is not substantially safer than hand-held use.
Distracted Driving Awareness Month
In April, local and state law enforcement agencies in California and across the country participated in National Distracted Driving Awareness Month. In California alone, nearly 250 different law enforcement agencies ticketed over 46,000 drivers for using cell phones behind the wheel. Texting-while-driving tickets were up about 35 percent from 2014. In April, agencies also included aggressive public awareness campaigns about the dangers of distracted driving. The “Silence the Distraction” campaign accompanied the statewide law enforcement efforts.
After a Distracted Driving Accident
Distracted driving isn’t always immediately apparent after a car accident. Sometimes, it takes additional investigative effort to determine if a driver was distracted at the time of an accident.