Distracted driving persists despite complaints from passengers

There are many reasons why people engage in distracted driving. Some drivers know the risks of using cellphones behind the wheel. Yet, they have an addiction to their text messages and social media accounts. Other drivers feel overconfident in their ability to multitask while driving. Those who take the risk to drive distracted knowingly endanger themselves and others.

Distracted driving is such a widespread problem that perpetrators often ignore pleas from passengers to pay attention to the road. That’s according to a recent survey of more than 1,000 passengers conducted by LeithCars.com. More than 22 percent of the survey participants were passengers in distracted driving crashes.

According to the survey, more than 97 percent of the participants said that they confronted drivers for driving while distracted. The drivers who were confronted included:

  • Friends – 67%
  • Family members – nearly 61%
  • A significant other – more than 54%
  • Co-workers – more than 15%
  • Rideshare or taxi drivers – more than 9%

Family members and friends were the least likely to become defensive when confronted by passengers. In contrast, rideshare and taxi drivers were the most likely to get defensive.

Types of distracted driving passengers witnessed

Cellphone use was widely cited in the survey. In fact, passengers confronted drivers for texting and driving 52 percent of the time. Additionally, passengers confronted drivers for browsing the internet more than 33 percent of the time and taking pictures or videos more than 17 percent of the time. Cellphones aren’t the only cause of distraction, however. Some of the top distractions passengers confronted drivers for include:

  • Turning around/reaching for items – nearly 29%
  • Daydreaming/looking out the window – nearly 23%
  • Adjusting the car stereo – more than 15%
  • Steering with their knees or legs – nearly 15%
  • Assisting pets or children – more than 14%
  • Taking care of personal hygiene or grooming – nearly 14%

Other less common distractions included drinking alcohol, falling asleep, smoking marijuana, eating, reading, changing clothing and crying.

What makes distracted driving so dangerous?

Safe driving requires cognitive attention, visual focus and manual control. To maintain this, drivers need to keep their eyes on the road, hands on the wheel, and attention on driving at all times. Distracted drivers often don’t allow themselves enough time and distance to stop or avoid an impending crash. That’s why more than 2,800 people were killed in distracted driving crashes in the U.S. during 2018.

Measuring the scope of the problem is nearly impossible. That’s because many distracted drivers don’t leave behind physical evidence or admit to being distracted when they cause a crash. Moreover, we share the road with distracted drivers every time we get behind the wheel. Some people blatantly drive distracted so recognizing and avoiding them is possible. But there are some drivers who conceal their distractions, such as holding a cellphone below the steering wheel.

The car accident attorneys at Aaron Engle Law in Seattle and Tacoma have seen people’s lives changed for the worse because of distracted driving. We are committed to holding distracted drivers accountable and getting justice for crash victims and their families. Our law firm has fought to help injured motorists recover millions of dollars in damages and our case results prove it. We know what goes into investigating and litigating distracted driving crash cases. We’ll work with you every step of the way to help you get the compensation you deserve.

Schedule your free and confidential legal consultation with us today. Contact us online or call our law offices.