More than two-thirds of drivers were distracted seconds before they caused a car accident, according to a recent study, which also found that sad or angry drivers are more likely to cause a motor vehicle accident.
The study was conducted by Virginia Tech Transportation Institute of Blacksburg, Virginia. The study was based primarily on internal car videos taken over a three-year period. The drivers voluntarily agreed to have the cameras installed in their vehicles as part of the study.
"We now have a very clear picture that distraction continues to be a great detriment to driver safety, despite growing awareness that engaging in a distracting activity is risky," said study author Tom Dingus, director of the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, who was quoted in a CBS News article.
Why are drivers often distracted while driving?
Of the drivers who participated in the study, 68 percent who caused accidents were "clearly distracted," CBS News reported. The most common distractions, the study found, involved drivers reaching for a cellphone or another object, reading or writing while driving, as well as operating a dashboard touchscreen menu.
The study also found that the risk of a car accident "rose significantly" when drivers were sad, upset or agitated, according to U.S. News & World Report. Specifically, drivers were 10 times more likely to be in a car accident when they were depressed or in an "emotionally agitated" state, according to the study.
Road rage has long been known as a contributing factor in some car accidents. But this study is the first one to suggest that a driver's emotional state could be a contributing factor in a motor vehicle accident.
What can drivers do to be safer on the road?
The dangers of distracted driving have been well documented for years. When drivers use a cellphone while driving, they're four times more likely to cause an accident. That's because most texting drivers take their eyes off the road for more than 5 seconds, according to a recent article published by The Arizona Republic newspaper.
That's why 48 states have laws banning texting while driving in some form. The only two states where people can still legally text while driving is Montana and Arizona, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association.
But you don't have to wait for Arizona politicians to pass a law banning texting while driving statewide, according to Phoenix attorney Kyle A. Israel of Israel & Gerity law firm. You can choose to focus on the road while driving and wait to read or write a text message.
And even through texting while driving is legal in most of Arizona, that doesn't mean you don't have rights if you're injured in an accident caused by a texting driver on I-10, I-17 or anywhere else in the Phoenix area. That's why strongly urge you to contact our law firm if you've been injured in car accident. We can explain all the legal options available to you. Call 888-900-3667 for your free case evaluation.