State Farm Insurance Company conducted their 5th annual survey to examine drivers’ attitudes and behaviors related to distracted driving. Below, I split up the info-graphic which details the percentages of drivers who engage in top distracting activities while driving. Note the steady increase of all the statistics over the past few years. It is apparent that these devices we are so addicted to are taking over our lives, and proves that these distracted behaviors are in fact occurring behind the wheel.
The study first examined the age range of smart phone users and the increase in ownership within these age groups. If we look back at the 2011 dates, it is evident that it’s become almost necessary to have a smart phone. A few years ago, the older generation could get by with a call-only phone (or no phone at all for that matter), but now it is rare to meet someone without a phone that allows for calls, texts, video chat, web-surfing, photo-taking, GPS navigation, et cetera, et cetera—my 94 year old grandma even has one!
The next study discusses the activities drivers simultaneously take part in while driving. To me, it is not the statistics that are most shocking, but the fact that people are actually partaking in these activities as they drive. The truth is, drivers are not just texting behind the wheel, and therefore, the problem extends beyond texting and driving. The real issue lies in the culture of distraction. We are so afraid that if we don’t send that email or tweet that tweet, we will fall behind, and for this reason, our time spent in the car is not just about getting from point A to point B, but rather a time to play catch up and stay up-to-date on our lives.
The third and final part of this info-graphic depicts what exactly distracts drivers the most. Any guesses as to what it is? Well, I think we can all safely (or rather not-so-safely) say texting and driving takes the prize. Sending a text message was stated as the most “very distracting” activity people partake in while driving.
So with all this said, drivers are aware that they are texting and driving, that it distracts them behind the wheel, and that they should not be doing it. So our job is to fix this problem. Admitting there is a problem is the first step, but doing something about it is the next. Put your phone down, exit this state of distraction, and keep your eyes on the road.