Home Society & Culture One-Third of American Drivers Have Been Involved in a Car Accident Due to Eating or Drinking, New Study Reveals

One-Third of American Drivers Have Been Involved in a Car Accident Due to Eating or Drinking, New Study Reveals

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For drivers worldwide, driving for a prolonged period of time can become a distraction. In fact, 81% of American drivers have been involved in a car accident due to distracted driving according to a new study by Compare the Market AU.

To raise awareness about the most dangerous distractions for drivers, Compare the Market Australia polled American drivers on their biggest distractions while driving, the average cost of damage to their vehicle, and the model of the car they were driving at the time of the accident.

So, what were the biggest distractions for American drivers? According to the study, the top 10 were revealed as:

  • Weather conditions – 41%
  • Eating or drinking – 33%
  • Dealing with children or pets – 32%
  • Writing or reading a text message (with phone in hand) 29%
  • Phoning (with device in hand) 27%
  • Other passengers in the car 24%
  • Being lost in thoughts, ideas, and problems 22%
  • Mess within the car 22%
  • Outside person, object, or event 20%
  • Drowsy driving 18%

Overall, weather conditions were revealed to be drivers’ biggest distractions, with 41% of respondents revealing they had been involved in an accident due to this type of distraction. With weather differing across the country, states like Alaska or Idaho need to be cautious of icy conditions, whereas warmer states such as Florida and Louisiana may need to be cautious of sunlight obstructing driver views.

Although it can be tempting for drivers to hydrate or quench their hunger while driving, eating or drinking (33%) while driving can be just as dangerous as using your phone, if not more dangerous, with eating and drinking ranking second overall. Dealing with children and pets was the third most dangerous distraction with 32% reporting an accident due to this factor. When setting off on a car journey, it is important to ensure that young children are safe and secure, while pets cannot roam freely around the vehicle.

Using your mobile device is widely regarded as one of the most dangerous activities to engage in while driving, with writing or reading a text message (29%) and phoning (27%) ranking highly overall. In fact, Americans (29%) are more than twice as likely to be distracted by writing or reading text messages with a phone in hand while driving than Australians.

When it comes to damage caused to their vehicles, the average cost of damage for Americans was revealed as USD$1,505.02, with 13% of Americans writing off their car when it came to distracted driving accidents.

With 21% of Americans saying they had been distracted by internal technology systems, the model of the car can play a factor in the likelihood of distractions, with the car most involved in accidents revealed as the Honda Civic (8%).

Commenting on the research, Adrian Taylor, Compare the Market’s General Manager of General Insurance said: “When driving, there are several internal and external stimuli that can cause us to be distracted from weather conditions to a mess in the vehicle. Our research has emphasised the sheer number of potential distractions to drivers. However, it has also been pointed out that despite the well-known hazards of actions like texting while driving, some drivers continue to engage in them.

“We hope that our research encourages drivers to consider how risky these behaviors are and therefore prevents them from doing so in the future. However, accidents do unfortunately happen, and we can’t always control these hazards. Therefore, it is a good idea to have a car insurance policy in place should the worst occur. From minor scuffs to broken bumpers, insuring your car can provide peace of mind in the event you face big and unexpected damage bills.”

To find out full details on the research, please visit Compare the Market.

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