What are the dangers of distracted driving?

On Behalf of Renick Law Firm, PLLC |
Jul 29, 2023 |

As smartphones and other mobile devices have become more common, so has distracted driving. However, distracted driving comes in many forms beyond texting while driving.

Awareness of the types of distracted driving and the associated risks can help drivers stay safe on the road.

Distracted driving and auto collisions

Cell phone use, texting while driving and other distractions frequently cause motor vehicle accidents. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, distracted driving contributed to 3,522 fatal automobile crashes in 2021. Furthermore, the World Health Organization estimates that drivers who use mobile devices while behind the wheel are around four times more likely to get into accidents.

Teenage drivers are often more likely to engage in risky behaviors, including mobile phone use and distracted driving. Parents, educators and communities should encourage and model responsible behavior for young drivers. Not only is distracted driving dangerous, but here in Texas, it is illegal to use a handheld device while driving without a hands-free headset.

Common types of distracted driving

Using a cell phone or mobile device to send text messages, check e-mails or browse the web is a dangerous form of distracted driving that removes a driver’s hands, eyes and attention from the road. Talking on a cell phone is also risky, but using hands-free accessories can be safer for drivers who need to take calls on the road. Drivers should avoid fixing their hair or applying make-up when behind the wheel. It is unsafe to eat food while operating a vehicle, and changing the music in the car while driving can be distracting as well.

Distracted driving behaviors, including using a mobile phone while driving, can endanger the lives and safety of motorists and other people on the road.