Distracted Driving On The Rise

AAA survey suggests distractions dangerous, under-reported

Jennifer Bloodworth
March 29, 2018 - 6:54 pm
Distracted Driver

PITTSBURGH (NewsRadio 1020 KDKA) — Technology has certainly changed the way we get around, but has it made it safer?

According to a new survey by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, 88% of drivers believe distracted driving is on the rise.

Distracted driving topped the list. 68% reported an increase in aggressive driving. 55% saw drivers using drugs more prevalent and 43% saw more drunk driving.

The number of drivers reporting cell phone use while driving has jumped 30% since 2013, with nearly half of motorists admitting to recently using a handheld phone and over a third having sent a text or email behind the wheel.

“Drivers in the survey believe the problem of distracted driving has increased over the past three years and federal estimates show that the number of distracted driving crashes has actually dropped 2%,” Theresa Podguski, AAA East Central Director of Legislative Affairs told the KDKA Radio Afternoon News Thursday.

“But this may be due to the fact that it’s difficult to detect distraction following a crash, which makes distracted driving one of the most underreported traffic safety issues.”

Distractions aren’t limited to cell phones. Infotainment systems, eating, reaching for things, all require a driver’s attention.

“Taking our eyes off the road and if we do that for just two seconds it doubles our chances of being involved in a collision,” Podguski warned.

“AAA is urging drivers to fully focus on driving. Put aside those electronic distractions. Never use text messaging, email, video games, internet functions while you’re driving, preprogram that GPS.”