Survey Shows More Than Half of Americans Use Cellphones While Driving
April 15, 2023
According to results from a new survey conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), half of the drivers in the United States use a cellphone or some other type of electronic device when they are behind the wheel. While gathering results from respondents, the survey employed something called the “Health Belief Model”. Researchers often use this model to determine why people fail to adopt certain health behaviors linked to disease prevention, such as quitting smoking or eating better to reduce heart health risks, for example. But the model also applies to driving behaviors, like engaging with notoriously dangerous distractions behind the wheel.
What Is Distracted Driving?
The Governor’s Highway Safety Association, or GHSA, reports that distracted drivers killed at least 3,000 people on American roadways in 2020. That number represents 8% of the total driving-related deaths that year. In addition to the fatalities, another 400,000 Americans sustained injuries. Though it is difficult to pinpoint exactly how many injuries distracted driving causes, researchers believe it inflicts harm on tens of thousands of individuals each year.
Cellphones are by no means the only distractions that are hazardous while driving, though they may be one of the most common. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that anything that takes a person’s attention away from driving is a distraction. Here are some examples of other behaviors that are both distracting and dangerous behind the wheel:
- Using a navigation system
- Eating while driving
- Having your earbuds in
- Grooming yourself while driving
- Distractions from passengers, children, and pets
The Survey: The Results and What They Mean
One of the associates on the survey’s panel said that by using the Health Belief Model, the researchers were able to dig deeper into the reasons why people continue to use electronics when they drive despite knowing just how very dangerous it is to do. A spokesman for the GHSA noted that it took quite some time to successfully alter public perception on the importance of wearing a seatbelt or not drinking and driving, for example, so it may also take more time to cement just how unsafe distractions behind the wheel really are.
The IIHS’ survey found that some of the main reasons why respondents said they continue to use their phones in the car is largely due to the need – or the perceived need — to respond to text messages, phone calls, or emails from work, family members and friends and to receive other types of information. Regarding getting people to start wearing seatbelts or promoting driving sober, data shows that people encouraging one another in conjunction with public awareness campaigns seemed to make the biggest impact. So, the IIHS’ researchers believe the same holds true with their new data: if passengers, friends, coworkers and family members encourage one another to put down their cellphones and other types of distractions while driving then the roads could start to become much safer for us all.
Support from other people was not the only thing that individuals involved in the survey said could motivate them to change their behaviors behind the wheel. Policy changes too, they said, could have a meaningful impact. Interestingly, not only did the respondents say they would be motivated by tougher laws and increased enforcement, but that they would support passing them. Cutting down on distractions behind the wheel is undoubtedly a complex issue – but the more that we increase public perception on how dangerous distracted driving is and motivate one another to act safely and responsibly, the less often these preventable and tragic accidents will occur.
Were You Injured in a Car Accident?
Automobile accidents cause a variety of injuries, including but not limited to:
- Traumatic brain injuries, or TBIs
- Spinal cord injuries
- Sprains and strains
- Bruises and lacerations
- Knee injuries
- Back injuries
- Internal injuries
- Loss of limbs
- Burn injuries
- Neck injuries and whiplash
- Hand and wrist injuries
- Foot and ankle injuries
- Soft tissue injuries
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
At Galfand Berger, we win 98% of our cases – and 95% of those cases settle before going to trial. Here are just a few examples of our firm’s notable recoveries on behalf of victims of automobile accidents:
- Our client was left paralyzed after sustaining significant injuries in a car accident. Our attorneys not only pursued a case against the at-fault driver who caused the accident, but also against the vehicle manufacturer for defective seatbelts and the overall crashworthiness of the automobile. We recovered $4,500,000.00 for our client.
- Our client was struck by a tractor-trailer on an inter-state highway, suffering severe injuries that resulted in the amputation of both his legs below the knee. Our attorneys successfully recovered $3,000,000.00 for our client.
If you would like to speak with someone regarding injuries that you sustained in an accident, someone at our firm can help. Contact a representative online now.
Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyers at Galfand Berger, LLP, Representing Injured Victims Since 1947
If you have questions about filing a claim for injuries you sustained in a car accident, contact the Philadelphia car accident lawyers at Galfand Berger LLP today. Call us at 800-222-USWA (8792) or fill out our online form for a free consultation. Located in Philadelphia, Bethlehem, Lancaster, and Reading, we serve clients throughout New Jersey and Pennsylvania, including Allentown and Harrisburg.