Study: Americans understand and ignore distracted driving dangers

What do motorists here in St. Louis and across the nation think is the biggest threat to their safety on the road? A new national study by the Harris Poll determined that more than half believe distracted driving is now the biggest threat.

Here’s the real problem, however: while people understand that distracted driving is risky behavior that can cause motor vehicle accidents and injuries, more than 90 percent of those polled admitted to talking on their phones while they’re behind the wheel.

According to Harris, the biggest offenders are the members of Generation X (those born between the mid-1960s and the early 1980s) and Millennials, followed by Baby Boomers. To be fair, all the generations are far too willing to give in to the distracting temptations of electronics while driving.

The data includes responses from 2,035 adults at least 18 years old and a follow-up survey of 2.015 additional adults.

The poll indicates that 55 percent of Americans think distracted driving is the biggest roadway danger, ranking it above drunk driving (31 percent), aggressive driving (8 percent) and speeding (3 percent).

The leading distraction for drivers? Forty-three percent of those surveyed said it is their phones.

The National Safety Council says at on average, nine Americans die each day in distracted driving crashes and that another 100 people are injured.

Another disturbing factoid from the Harris study: parents with children are the most likely to use phones while behind the wheel. A whopping 95 percent use their phones at stoplights, compared to 90 percent overall for drivers.

Those who have been hurt by a distracted driver should contact a St. Louis attorney experienced in personal injury litigation to learn more about compensation for all damages.