As Pokemon GO exploded across America, new information from Liberty Mutual Insurance and Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) shows that driving distractions for teens go far beyond the radio, their friends, and texting. An outrageously large proportion of teen drivers say they use apps while driving and indications are that they believe this behavior to be significantly safer than texting and driving or driving while under the influence of alcohol.
67% of teen drivers surveyed admitted to using apps while driving. These apps, including popular social media such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, are just a part of life for teen drivers. Indeed, they have never known a world without access to these popular apps, which are so integral to the ways they communicate and express themselves.
Unfortunately, just as with texting and driving, the apps distract the driver from the road, increasing the odds of a serious collision with another vehicle, bicyclist, pedestrian, or immoveable object. The risk of an accident, with the possibility of death or serious injuries to the head, neck, limbs, and back is high, largely because of the amount of time one’s attention is diverted from the road. Most apps not only distract drivers mentally but actually require them to take their eyes off the road. With a vehicle capable of traveling the length of a football field in just a few seconds, this is terrifying.
App Distraction Not Just For Teens
While teen drivers are notably more likely to engage in dangerous or merely inexperienced driving behaviors, the National Safety Council reminds us that people of all ages are finding it difficult to tear themselves away from apps while driving. A full 74% of drivers surveyed said they would use Facebook while driving. Many admitted they would also use Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram while behind the wheel. Anyone who has ever used mobile versions of the apps knows they are not typically operated hands-free and certainly require some visual attention.
While you might assume that attention-seeking is a personality characteristic common of those who would use apps and other technology while driving, the reality is there are stark differences depending upon the age of the driver. Older drivers who engage in distracting behaviors while driving tend to be extroverted. The teens most likely to app and drive or text and drive are, surprisingly, those with high levels of conscientiousness. They simply feel guilty not responding immediately to messages or posts made by friends.
Have You or a Loved One Been Injured by a Distracted Driver?
Car and truck accidents caused by use of hand-held devices, apps, and texting are becoming more and more common. It’s a terrible epidemic—one which is easily and completely avoidable. If you or someone you love have been injured in a vehicle accident caused by a distracted driver, you or the family may be entitled to compensation for things like medical bills, lost wages, and funeral expenses. Call The Lee Steinberg Law Firm today for a FREE consultation with one of our experienced Michigan auto accident attorneys: 1-800-LEE-FREE.