Distracted driving: It’s a topic you hear about often, from government officials urging motorists to avoid distractions, to legislation making certain distracted driving behaviors illegal. Hundreds of thousands of people are injured each year in crashes related to distracted driving; according to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, in 2012 alone, 421,000 people were hurt in these types of accidents.
Last year, Allstate set out to educate people about the dangers of distracted driving through its Reality Rides program. Allstate traveled to high schools and community events throughout the country, where participants got to try their hand at distracted driving in a safe virtual reality program — and to see just how difficult and dangerous distracted driving can be.
In addition to spreading the word about distracted driving and helping people to realize its dangers, Allstate also asked participants a series of questions before they tried out the simulator, in order to understand their attitudes about and knowledge of distracted driving. The infographic below shows those results:
Although distracted driving can be an issue for drivers of all ages, a particular group of concern is younger drivers. A 2011 study by the NHTSA found that of all drivers involved in fatal crashes that year, those under age 20 were the most likely to be distracted. Eleven percent of all the drivers in that age group were distracted at the time of the accident — and of those drivers, 21 percent were distracted by cellphones.
One step that state governments have taken to help keep younger drivers safe is to institute graduated driver licensing laws, which aim to help new drivers gain experience behind the wheel gradually, before they are granted unrestricted driving privileges. Click here for more information on graduated driver licensing.