Feb 23

What Results in a Distracted Driver Besides Gadgets?

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distracted driver

A new study shows how many car accidents involve a distracted driver. This should surprise too many people, but what was interesting in the new study was how emotions can result in a distracted driver.

In the research performed by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, researchers tracked real-time behaviors of drivers with radars, sensors, and cameras in order to learn which distractions were more dangerous than others. They found that it wasn’t only texting or talking on the phone that resulted in a distracted driver. Touchscreens in the car like GPS platforms caused drivers to spend more time with their eyes off the road than people who weren’t distracted by “screens.” The researchers focused on 905 car accidents that caused injuries, property damage or both. By their calculations, almost three-quarters of crashes involved some type of error, and drivers were clearly distracted 68 percent of the time. Of all the causes of distraction analyzed in the study, the researchers felt the most dangerous were using or reaching for a handheld cellphone, reading or writing, reaching for an object, and using touchscreen menus on the dashboard.

We all know that gadgets can result in a distracted driver, but this study also showed that emotions play a role in car accidents. According to US News and World Reports, this study found that the risk of a car accident rose significantly when drivers were emotional — angry, sad, tearful or agitated. They found that people who were emotional while driving — angry, sad, crying, or agitated — were 10 times more likely to increase their risk of a crash than people who weren’t emotional.

This study reminds us of the dangers of distracted driving. In today’s world of multi-tasking, it is hard not to try to do other things when driving. However, it is important to remember that things and people in the car and emotions can result in an automobile accident that could result in not being able to complete any tasks for an extended period of time.

Drive safely and cheerfully and watch out for those distracted drivers who don’t!

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