Although the distracted driving problem appears to have remained steady from 2014 to 2015, researchers with the NHTSA say there is one area of concern: Young drivers who visibly manipulate their electronic devices.
That’s according to the latest research by federal analysts with the traffic safety administration, which reaches conclusions based on researcher traffic counts, as well as anonymous driver surveys. Analysts physically sat at intersections across the country and observed and recorded driver behavior for 11 hours at a time. Researchers looked to see whether there were visibly manipulating their phones, talking on visible headsets or holding phones to their ears. They also cross-compared this data with the surveys and scaled the data to a national level.
What they discovered is that while overall, the texting-and-driving/ visible manipulation of electronic devices fell slightly (2.2 percent, a statistically insignificant amount), there was an increase of .5 percent total. In fact, 5 percent of those 16 to 24 were seen doing this, as were 2.1 percent of those 25 to 69. This might not seem like a lot but consider another figure: The rate of drivers holding phones to their ears. That fell from 4.3 percent in 2014 to 3.8 percent in 2015. That sounds like good news, until you consider that this still means 542,000 passenger vehicles were being driven by someone using a handheld cell phone at any given moment of a typical day in 2015. That’s alarming. Continue reading →