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Studies reinforce distracted driving war has many fronts

On Behalf of | Apr 2, 2015 | Car Accidents |

Is there any driver in Georgia who doesn’t believe and know that distracted driving is dangerous? We doubt it. But as we noted in a recent article published on our site, there may be a big gap between what distracted driving is and how people define the term.

In that article, we highlighted the fact that the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has identified that there are three basic forms of distraction for drivers. There are manual distractions that involve drivers taking their hands off the steering wheel; visual distractions in which eyes stray from the road, and cognitive distractions. Think daydreaming for that last one.

Regardless of the type of distraction that might be in play, there is one thing that binds them altogether. They can be interpreted as negligence or recklessness. And if the distraction causes a preventable crash that leaves someone injured or dead, there is a right to pursue fair and full compensation.

But it might surprise some readers to learn what the scope is in terms of categories inside the three types of distraction. A survey by Erie Insurance provides a glimpse. Considering that the behaviors listed were all self reported by drivers, there can be no question that they happen. But because the data is self reported, it’s probably also safe to believe that the behaviors happen a lot more often indicated.

The poll of must over 1,900 drivers aged 18 and above was conducted online by Harris Poll. For the survey, Erie applied the CDC types. So if drivers took their hands off the wheel, looked away from the road or let their minds wander, it was considered a distraction.

Texting and talking on cellphones were obvious culprits. But other behaviors listed, along with percentages, included:

  • Hair grooming: 15 percent
  • Romantic activities: 15 percent
  • Changing clothes: 9 percent
  • Applying makeup: 8 percent
  • Dental hygiene (brushing and flossing): 4 percent
  • Taking selfies: 4 percent
  • Switching drivers: 3 percent

Perhaps most disturbing on the list is that 3 percent of respondents said they had gone to the bathroom while driving.

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