Following an investigation into 580,000 Tesla vehicles that allow users to play games while driving, a survey by personal injury firm The Clardy Law Firm found that 49% of drivers are distracted on the road.
A respected personal injury firm in Greenville, South Carolina, has discovered that just under 50% of road users drive while distracted.
This comes after The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) launched an investigation into 580,000 Tesla vehicles that allow drivers to play games via the center touchscreen.
The “Passenger Play” feature, initially only available when a car was parked, came to the attention of the U.S. auto safety regulator when a Tesla owner discovered — and subsequently reported — that he could play games such as Sonic the Hedgehog and Solitaire, and browse the internet while driving in circles.
The agency’s primary concern is that such a feature “may distract the driver and increase the risk of a crash.”
Following the news, personal injury firm The Clardy Law Firm conducted a survey into the prevalence of distracted driving on the country’s roads.
The survey asked over 2,000 respondents aged over 18 in the U.S. if they ever talk to other passengers, change the music or radio station playing, eat or drink, talk on the phone, read or respond to text messages, or check social media while driving.
While the majority (51%) of respondents claimed to never engage in any of these behaviors, the survey results show that a startling 49% could be putting themselves and others at risk of a crash by driving while distracted.
Talking to other passengers and changing music were the two most popular behaviors, with 28.5% admitting to the former and 27.7% to the latter.
The more concerning behaviors — talking on the phone, reading or responding to texts, and browsing social media — were less frequent, though they still represent a combined 22.9% of respondents. This is particularly dangerous, as evidence shows that our brains are incapable of multitasking. When driving, an act as seemingly simple as holding a conversation or skimming a social media update could mean missing a hazard or not reacting in time.
Additional research reveals that taking your eyes off the road for five seconds — roughly the time it takes to read a text message — at 55 mph is the equivalent of driving the length of a football field with your eyes closed.
The Clardy Law Firm’s Allen Clardy, who commissioned the survey, said, “Distracted driving continues to be a leading cause of death in car accidents, yet it’s completely avoidable. Many people think that taking their eyes off the road for just seconds or having a conversation with a passenger are innocent behaviors that don’t impact their driving, but we’ve seen from experience that the slightest distraction can cause devastating — even deadly — crashes.”
Mr. Clardy argues that the results highlight a much bigger problem: There are around 229 million licensed drivers in the U.S. If we look at the survey results as a representative sample, approximately 112 million could be unwittingly putting themselves at risk of a crash by being distracted, and that’s a concern.”
About The Clardy Law Firm
The Clardy Law Firm is an experienced personal injury law firm in Greenville, SC, that deals with car accidents, trucking accidents, motorcycle accidents, DUI cases, and workers’ compensation claims. The firm prides itself on helping residents get the compensation and protection they deserve and has multiple accolades, including an A+ rating from the BBB, to verify its ongoing commitment to quality and care.
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