Distracted driving is becoming a bigger problem seemingly every day. Most people think of drivers who are on their phones when they think of distracted drivers, but there are plenty of other things that can distract a person behind the wheel.
Other people in the car, pets, eating, drinking, smoking, and fumbling with the radio can all contribute to someone taking their eyes off the road. While it's normal to glance away from the road briefly while driving, such as to read a billboard or check the mirrors, getting distracted can be very dangerous.
Some places are apparently more distracting than others
One of the top four cities for distracted drivers is Denver, Colorado. Drivers there spend an average of 8.43 percent of their driving time looking at their phones. Because a car can travel a long way in just a few seconds, looking at a phone, even briefly, can be very dangerous.
That is especially true in traffic, where rear-ending other cars, side-swiping vehicles or protective barriers, pedestrian strikers, and other serious safety issues can happen with just a few too-long glances at a phone, GPS, or the radio.
Studies show distraction is getting worse
Drivers today are 10 percent more distracted behind the wheel than they were in 2018. Every state and every city that was studied showed an increase in distracted behavior behind the wheel.
While phones are not the only culprit, they are adding to the distraction in new and different ways that were not there before. Checking emails and text messages is part of the issue, but so is using GPS, finding the right music, and other smartphone functions.
Millions of drivers were studied and surveyed
With more than 500 drivers participating in a survey and over 1.8 million drivers studied over three months and 4.5 billion miles, it is clear that the problem is larger than just one city or just looking at a phone. The number of distractions is rising, but drivers must choose to avoid these - and they are not doing so.
Campaigns to reduce the number of distracted drivers have been used in Denver and a lot of other locations, but so far those campaigns are not doing much to reduce the problem. People really struggle to stay off their phones, and that includes behind the wheel. Until Denver drivers and others make a change, rates of distracted driving and the danger that comes with it will continue to rise.