HONOLULU (KHON2) — Distracted driving is still a major problem in Hawaii and throughout the United States. Every year since 2016 there has been close to 300,000 crashes every year nationwide due to distracted drivers.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) about 8% of crashes with injuries can be attributed to cell phones, with the percentage growing in relation to the severity of the accident.
NHTSA also reports texting while driving on average takes about five seconds, so if you’re driving 55 mph, that’s the same as driving the entire length of a football field with your eyes closed.
With April being distracted driving awareness month, Zutobi, a DMV prep resource website, put together a list ranking the states by most distracted drivers to least.
States with the highest rates of fatal crashes due to distracted driving are New Mexico, New Jersey and Hawaii. Distracted driving doesn’t just mean texting on your phone, you can be considered distracted while doing other activities that takes your attention away from your driving.
Reading, eating, applying makeup and reaching for moving objects in a adjacent seat all count as being distracted. However, one of the most noticeable ways to be caught driving distracted is by using a mobile device.
Cell-phone usage while driving is different between age groups. A 2019 study by NHSTA showed those 25-34 years-old had the highest percentage of using their phones while driving followed by those 35-44 years old.
- 15-20 year olds: 17%
- 21-24 year olds: 16%
- 25-34 year olds: 23%
- 35-44 year olds: 20%
- 45-54 year olds: 12%
- 55-64 year olds: 8%
- 65-74 year olds: 3%
- Older than 75: 1%
Zutobi offers helpful tips for drivers preparing to get their drivers license. Like training adequately before taking your behind the wheel test, feeling comfortable on a highway, freeway, or busy road and knowing basic driving laws.
They suggest implementing a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to driving and cell phones. This could mean putting your mobile device on do-not-disturb, throwing your phone in the back seat so it isn’t a distraction, or keeping it in your pocket or purse.
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For more helpful driving tips to avoid getting in an accident head to Zutobi’s website.