Distracted driving is a serious and growing threat to safety on California roadways. Despite widespread public awareness campaigns designed to highlight the dangers of texting while driving and other forms of distraction, the omnipresence of technology continues to divert drivers’ attention from the wheel. One survey indicates that technologies meant to reduce phone use can also be seriously distracting. Advanced software like Apple’s CarPlay and Google’s Android Auto integrate major smartphone apps with newer cars’ infotainment systems. These services aim to keep drivers from picking up their phones and taking their eyes away from the road and hands away from the wheel while operating their vehicles.
However, the researchers who conducted the Multi-National Distracted Driving Survey say that any type of system that deliberately draws attention from the road is a hazard, even if drivers don’t need to use their hands to operate the technology. Indeed, the proliferation of hands-free devices has served to make phone use while driving even more common. Survey results indicate that 86% of millennial drivers use their phones while driving. Another 79% of millennial drivers reported taking incoming calls or reading texts while behind the wheel, and 72% said they looked at incoming notifications.
People typically know that distracted driving is considered dangerous but also believe that their own phone use is safe, despite evidence to the contrary. Almost half of the respondents said that they regularly engage in distracted driving behaviors, but 98% of respondents also said that they were safe drivers.
The costs of distracted driving can be severe for others on the road. Distraction is a major cause of catastrophic car accidents leading to serious injuries or even fatalities. People who have been injured on the roads due to a crash caused by a distracted driver may work with a personal injury lawyer to seek compensation.