With all the laws going into effect and the awareness programs on the rise, every Illinois driver should know to pay full attention while behind the wheel. According to distracted driving-related facts and statistics provided by The Zebra, this does not appear to be the case, though.
In 2018, distracted driving caused 4,637 deaths, which is a huge increase over the 3,166 deaths in 2017. These deaths were not necessarily due to cellphone use. Although texting and driving may be one of the more dangerous distracted driving behaviors, any activity that takes one or both hands off the wheel, takes the eyes off the road or distracts attention from driving could be deadly. For example, reaching for an object makes a driver eight times more likely to cause a crash, and eating or drinking behind the wheel raises the risk of a crash by three times.
Driving with an unrestrained dog in the vehicle is another high-risk behavior. In one survey, 80% of participants said their dogs accompanied them in their vehicles, but only 17% of those drivers used restraints. Ultimately, about 31% of vehicles on the road have drivers distracted by pets.
Young children may also cause distractions. One survey indicates that adults with young children in the vehicle were more likely to drive distracted (87%) than adults without young children (74%).
According to CarSurance.net, teens are more likely than adults to cause a fatal accident due to texting and driving, but passengers are also a major source of distraction for young drivers. When a teen driver has one passenger in the vehicle, he or she is twice as likely to be in a fatal crash as a teen with no passengers, and when there are two or more passengers, the teen is five times as likely to be in a fatal crash.