Driving while talking on a phone is dangerous and most motorists in San Antonio, Alamo Heights, Olmos Park, Terrell Hills and surrounding areas know it. In fact, the number of people who talk on handheld cell phones has declined over the past six years. Unfortunately, this does not mean that motorists are paying more attention behind the wheel. To the contrary, USA Today reports a recent study by State Farm suggests there has been an increase in the number of motorists engaging in even more high-risk distracted driving behavior.
A personal injury lawyer knows that many motorists incorrectly believe that they are able to text, send or read an email, or quickly check their social media sites without putting themselves at risk. The reality is, these behaviors can be a major distraction that can significantly increase the odds of an accident happening.
More Drivers Engaging in High Risk Distracting Behaviors
State Farm has conducted a survey on distracted driving each year since 2009. The survey shows that there has been a decline in drivers on handheld phones but a steady increase in the past six years in the number of motorists surfing the web and doing other tasks on the Internet while driving. In particular:
- In 2009, just 15 percent of drivers said they had sent or read emails while behind the wheel. In 2014, 26 percent of drivers were emailing while operating their cars.
- In 2009, 13 percent of motorists indicated that they had utilized the Internet on an electronic device while in their cars. By 2014, a total of 26 percent admitted to being on the web.
- In 2009, around nine percent of people said that they checked on a social media site while driving. In 2014, a full 20 percent of drivers said that they had used a social media site while operating their car.
It is unclear why drivers are engaging in these behaviors at the same time as they have reduced their use of handheld devices. One possibility is that many motorists do not realize how distracting these activities are and they overestimate their ability to quickly check in on their phone without missing anything on the roads.
Many drivers also think they are safe to check an email or use the Internet while stopped at an intersection. A total of 63 percent of respondents to the 2014 State Farm survey indicated they were much more likely to use an electronic device while stopped waiting for a light. Since around 36 percent of annual collisions happen at intersections, however, it seems clear that it is still not really safe for drivers to allow themselves to become distracted while waiting for a light to change.
Drivers need to be aware of the major risks associated with all types of distracted driving, including using the Internet. If a driver chooses to operate an electronic device instead of focusing on the road, he could become responsible if a motor vehicle collision results from this careless behavior.
Contact a San Antonio accident lawyer at the Herrera Law Firm. Call 800-455-1054 or visit http://www.herreralaw.com for a free case consultation. Serving San Antonio, Alamo Heights, Olmos Park, Terrell Hills and surrounding areas.