California: 13% of drivers on phone

About 13 percent of California drivers are busy using cell phones while behind the wheel -- up from almost 10 percent in 2015 -- a state study suggests. Almost 8 percent of the state motorists were deemed to be driving distracted due to electronic device use, up from 5.4 percent. The state Office of Traffic Safety called the results of its sixth annual observational study "discouraging, but not totally unexpected." "Typing" and "posting" by drivers were up almost a third in the 2016 study, although "nearly all types of usage were up." The report -- "Observational Survey of Cell … [Read more...]

Social media a major roadway distraction

Almost half of drivers distracted by their smartphones are busy using social media, a new survey suggests. Key activities self-reported by the drivers -- in addition to texting and using email -- include "surfing the Net," taking selfies and shooting videos. Seven in 10 people who own smartphones and use them daily engage in some form of smartphone activity while driving, a survey conducted for wireless carrier AT&T shows. Most of those activities are against the law, depending on the state. Facebook, of course, takes the top spot in social media, with a quarter of the smartphone … [Read more...]

Distracted deaths down, injuries up

Distracted driving crashes killed fewer people in 2012, but the number of injuries was up significantly. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said 3,328 died in the distracted driving crashes, down slightly from 2011's 3,360 fatalities. About 421,000 injuries occurred in 2012, a 9 percent increase from the previous year (387,000). The NHTSA said it is "just beginning to identify distraction-related accidents," so the totals of death and injuries no doubt are higher -- as has been the case since use of mobile communications devices while behind the wheel became an issue in … [Read more...]

Reports: Distracted driving gets worse

Distracted driving continues to increase in the U.S. -- despite new laws, widespread safety education and saturation media coverage -- several new reports suggest. "Most Americans believe this problem is becoming worse," said Peter Kissinger, president of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, which surveyed almost 4,000 motorists for its Traffic Safety Culture Index. Researchers in California report that electronic distracted driving doubled in the state from 2011 to 2012, citing a "substantial and dramatic" increase in use of handheld electronics. Smartphone sales grew about 45 … [Read more...]

Despite the danger, we’re still talking

U.S. drivers recognize talking & texting as dangerous activities, but many continue to drive distracted anyway -- even in high-risk traffic situations. Nothing new there, but several recent surveys shed more light on the problem. Results of five recent surveys regarding cell phone and texting use are consistent with attitudinal studies conducted over the past 10 years. The latest numbers strongly suggest that widespread distracted driving educational efforts still have a lot of work left to do. A Roper poll of U.S. adults shows, in fact, that the higher the overall education level, the more … [Read more...]