If you have ever noticed how many Delaware drivers are eating, looking at their phones or otherwise not paying attention to the task at hand, you may understand how much of a problem distracted driving is throughout the state. According to DelawareOnline.com, distracted driving-related deaths in the state have risen since 2012, and distracted driving continues to play a key role in thousands of crashes across Delaware every year.
In fact, 2016 saw 6,095 crashes on state roadways involving distracted drivers, accounting for nearly a quarter of all traffic accidents. Meanwhile, nationally, distracted driving was a factor in the deaths of 3,450 people. Just what is it that is distracting so many of today’s motorists?
Common distracted driving behaviors
Texting behind the wheel is one of the most talked-about causes of distracted driving, and with good reason. While Delaware has a ban against the behavior, it continues to be a problem, and particularly among millennials, who studies have shown are more likely to use handheld electronic devices while driving than older drivers.
Using phones and electronic devices is not the only cause of today’s distracted driving accidents, however. Everything from eating and drinking behind the wheel to engaging with passengers in the backseat can meet the criteria, as distracted driving refers to any act that diverts your cognitive, manual or visual attention away from the vehicle controls.
There is some good news for Delaware drivers, however. To help combat the growing problem and reduce accidents and fatalities relating to distracted driving, authorities have beefed up enforcement of the state’s distracted driving laws, often using unmarked vehicles and other tactics to catch offenders.
Everyone can do their part to reduce distracted driving across Delaware by abiding by all traffic laws and staying alert and attentive behind the wheel. However, there is only so much you can do to protect yourself when other motorists fail to do the same.