NHTSA Survey Shows Distracted Drivers Overestimate Driving Ability

As a New Braunfels car accident lawyer, I regularly work with clients who have been seriously injured in preventable car crashes involving distracted drivers. Distracted driving is at an all time high in New Braunfels and throughout Texas. In fact, the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) reports that nearly one in four crashes involves a distracted driver.

TxDOT urges drivers to avoid engaging in non-driving activities while driving on Texas roads, especially talking on the phone and texting. Although many drivers are aware that distracted driving is dangerous, many feel they can drive safely—even with distractions.

This was confirmed in a recent 2010 National Phone Survey on Distracted Driving Attitudes and Behaviors conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The survey assessed attitudes and behaviors—as they relate to distracted driving—of 6,002 drivers over the age of 18 from all over the United States. The following are some of the major findings:

  • Most drivers will answer a call and conduct a conversation while driving.
  • 18% of drivers have sent texts or emails while driving. Almost half of drivers age 21 – 24 report doing so.
  • More than half the drivers said that talking on the phone, texting or sending an email does not affect their driving performance. However, 90% of those drivers said they would feel very unsafe as a passenger in a car where the driver was talking on the phone, texting or sending an email.

According to the survey, U.S. drivers are quite confident in their ability to multi-task while driving a motor vehicle. The facts do not support this optimism. NHTSA 2010 statistics show that 3,092 people were killed and another 416,000 were injured in crashes involving a distracted driver. According to TxDOT, more than 81,000 vehicles were involved in distracted driving-related accidents in Texas in 2011. Of those accidents, 361 involved fatalities.

Have you been seriously injured in a car accident due to a distracted, careless or negligent driver? If so, contact me, New Braunfels car crash attorney David Todd, at the Todd Law Firm. The number is 512-472-7799 and the case review is free. Alternatively, you may wish to download a free copy of my book The Seven Deadly Mistakes That Can Wreck Your Texas Accident Case for more information.

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