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As the nation’s largest collision repair company, our Caliber Collision centers see their fair share of accidents caused by distracted drivers. With April being National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, we’re going to take a look at some of the facts, and the fiction about distracted driving. Some of this may not be news to you, like the fact that texting while driving increases your risk of being involved in an accident. However, some of this may come as a surprise, like the fact that middle-aged drivers are at the highest risk of being in an accident if they’re texting while driving. Let’s take a look at the facts and statistics about the dangers of distracted driving.

  • In 2012, 3,328 people were killed and 421,000 were injured in distraction-affected crashes on U.S. roadways.
  • Texting while driving is six times more dangerous than driving while intoxicated, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
  • The average text read or typing is 4.6 seconds. Just three seconds of texting while driving 65 miles per hour is equal to driving 100 yards, or the length of a football field blindfolded.
  • According to the Transport Research Laboratory in London, reaction times for drivers who were texting while driving were 35% worse than drivers with no distractions.
  • According to the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, headset cell phone use is not substantially safer than hand-held use.
  • Text messaging creates a crash risk 23 times worse than driving while not distracted.
  • Merely engaging in visual-manual tasks such as reaching for a phone and dialing a telephone number, or using other portable handheld devices increased the risk of getting into an accident by three times.
  • Only about 1 out of 5 young drivers think that texting makes no difference to their driving performance. 68 percent of drivers ages 18-20 are willing to answer incoming phone calls on some, most, or all driving trips.
  • Parents who engage in distracting behaviors more frequently have teens who practice distracting driving behaviors. Teens read or send text messages once a trip 26 times more than their parents believe they do.
  • In 2013, nearly 70% of California drivers surveyed said they had been hit or nearly hit by a driver who was talking or texting on a cell phone.
  • In 2013, 45% of Californians surveyed said they have made a driving mistake while talking on a cell phone.

As you can see, distracted driving puts you and the people in the cars around you at a much higher risk on the roads. And none of us are immune to it, young, old, experienced or inexperienced. As the leaders in collision repair, we at Caliber see plenty of cases where distracted driving is the cause for a collision. And when we do, we’re certainly committed to restoring your car, and you to the rhythm of your life. But we’d prefer it if everyone practiced safer driving habits. After all, we’re out there sharing the roads, too. So we encourage everyone to take the pledge to drive phone-free and make the roadways as safe as humanly possible.

You can take the pledge here: http://www.distraction.gov/get-involved/take-the-pledge.html