Drivers in Connecticut and across the U.S. are using their phones and other mobile devices more. Though most drivers acknowledge the danger of being distracted behind the wheel, they engage in it anyway. This appears to be one finding of an online study from the market research firm Wakefield Research. Nearly 2,000 U.S. drivers responded to it; below are some of the results.
Almost half of drivers in Connecticut and around the U.S. say that distracted driving is their top worry when behind the wheel, according to a study. It was conducted by Wakefield Research and Root Insurance, which offers rate discounts to drivers who don't use their cellphones while operating their vehicles.
There are many different reasons drivers may be involved in motor vehicle accidents on Connecticut roads. The claims adjuster for the insurance company and law enforcement who are tasked with determining the causes of road accidents have to consider many contributing factors.
Distracted driving is a major cause of car accidents every year in Connecticut. Cellphones are a primary source of distraction that can lead to accidents. More drivers than ever are using cellphones for texting and other functions while driving rather than using them to make phone calls.
Those who use ridesharing services in Connecticut or elsewhere may not stop to consider that their drivers may be too tired to do their jobs safely. However, drowsy driving in the rideshare industry is a significant problem according to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. This is true despite attempts by Uber and Lyft to cut down on drowsy driving by instituting hours of service rules.
The ice and snow of winter can pose a challenge to drivers. That's why preparation is essential. For example, there are many drivers who do not even understand certain vehicle safety features. The National Safety Council, together with the University of Iowa, is helping to educate drivers on new vehicle technologies through a campaign called, "My Car Does What?"
Motor vehicle crashes pose a significant danger to people in Connecticut and across the country, and fatalities are on the rise. Approximately 40,000 people were killed in car accidents in 2016. This number represents a 6 percent increase over 2015 figures and a 14 percent increase over the 2014 figures. This means that the roadways are becoming more dangerous. However, it is often difficult for government agencies and safety researchers to fully understand the reasons for car crashes. They rely on the information recorded by local police at the time of an accident to tabulate national statistics.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently released the 2017 statistics acquired from its Fatality Analysis Reporting System. It seems that the overall number of fatalities occurring because of motor vehicle accidents across the nation were down by almost 2 percent in 2017 compared to the previous year. However, Connecticut residents should be aware that not all of the news is positive.
Smartphone ownership in the U.S. stood at 55 percent in 2013, but now more than three in four Americans carry the ubiquitous devices. Road safety experts say that the corresponding surge in distracted driving in Connecticut and around the country is one of the chief reasons that the number of car accidents rose by 12.3 percent from 5.7 million to 6.4 million during the same period. According to a study, drivers in the United States covered 107 billion miles in 2017 while distracted by a cellphone.
Thousands of teenagers die around the country each year in motor vehicle accidents, and police investigations often reveal that they were ignoring posted speed limits or staring at cellphone screens when they died. Public information campaigns have done little to deter young drivers from behaving recklessly behind the wheel, but a Baylor University study suggests that supplemental driver's education programs that bring teenagers face-to-face with the consequences of speeding and distraction could succeed in Connecticut and across the U.S. where more conventional approaches have failed.