Have you ever had the feeling that all of the drivers around you are talking on their phones instead of focusing on their driving? Distracted driving is a growing problem. While distracted drivers do not yet outnumber drivers who are concentrating properly, their numbers are alarming. A recent experiment does an excellent job of showing just how big the problem of distracted driving has become.
A recording of Florida’s I-95 was used to demonstrate the prevalence of distracted drivers. Multiple cameras allowed for the identification of drivers who were actively engaged in tasks other than driving. More than 2,000 cars were videotaped over a 20-minute period. The group responsible for the project, SR22Agency.com, then identified which drivers were distracted and what that distraction entailed. The video provides a visual representation of what we experience everyday on American roads.
In total, 8.6 percent of the drivers filmed were distracted. Of those, the large majority were talking on the phone while driving. A smaller percentage were texting, eating or engaging in some other distracting activity. While texting and driving is against Florida law, it is still legal to talk on your cell phone while driving. Legal does not mean wise, however. Several studies have suggested that talking on a cell phone while driving is as dangerous as driving drunk. The National Safety Council estimates that more than 20 percent of car accidents involve a driver talking on a handheld or hands-free cell phone. Research clearly supports the inclusion of drivers talking on phones in a discussion of distracted driving.
Source: Adweek, “This Agency Filmed I-95 in Florida for 20 Minutes and Singled Out Every Distracted Driver,” 11 April 2016