Which driving distraction is the worst? What is a distraction while driving? How many accidents and deaths are caused by distracted driving? How many car accidents are caused by texting and driving?
Dialing a phone is the most dangerous distraction while driving, increasing a driver’s chance of crashing by 12 times.
“Drivers today face so many distractions getting from A to B. Text messages tempt us, email enchants us, and cellphone rings can seduce us like a siren’s call.”
The 6 Worst Driving Distractions. Here is the list of the six worst driving distractions, compiled after analyzing millions of miles of driving data collected over three years.
- Dialing a phone behind the wheel increases a driver’s chance of crashing by 12 times.
- Reading or writing increases the risk by 10 times.
- Reaching for an item other than a cellphone comes next, increasing the risk by nine times.
- Texting increases the risk by six times.
- Reaching for a phone increases it by nearly five times.
- Browsing a phone or reading email nearly triples a person’s chances of getting into an accident.
Drivers are distracted at some point in more than half of the trips they take, doubling their odds of a crash. Distractions are also a factor in nearly 70 percent of the more than 900 serious crashes examined.
Driving While Impaired by Drugs or Alcohol is Still the Worst. No distraction rivals the risk involved with driving while impaired by drugs or alcohol, which multiplies crash rates by 36 times. Researchers also found that driving while crying or visibly angry was as risky as reading and writing, increasing risk by 10 times!
The data came from the Second Strategic Highway Research Program Naturalistic Driving Study, which tracked 3,500 motorists with cameras and sensors monitoring speed, acceleration and GPS location. This enabled researchers to collect not only precise collision times for hundreds of crashes, but also determine where driver’s eyes were directed moments before a crash.
source: Nicholas St. Fleur, “Reading This Could Increase Your Chance of Crashing Tenfold,” NYT, February 24, 2016.