AAA on alarming rates of distracted driving

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Everyone knows it’s wrong, but drivers are still doing it – and at alarming rates. A new study found that for every 100 trips, drivers use their cell phone for 88 of them.

The data was gathered by a cell phone app called Zendrive.

It analyzed three million drivers over a three month period.

It also found drivers use their phones for about three and a half minutes out of every hour they’re driving.

AAA Public Relations Manager Cindy Antrican explained, most people feel comfortable using their phones because they never think something bad will happen to them.

She said AAA has done studies asking drivers to do tasks like change the radio, roll the window down, and answer the phone.

They found the human brain can’t focus on more than one thing, very well.

Even when using hands-free devices.

“I hear people say ‘I only do it when I’m at a light, I only text when I’m at a light.’ I don’t think people are aware that our brains do not re-engage as quickly as we think they do,” Antrican said.

“When you stop doing that text and you try to refocus on your driving – it’s not instantaneous. It can be a full ten seconds. Do you realize how far you can drive in ten seconds?”

Antrican said examples of distracted driving can be seen all over the road.

“You see it all the time,” she said.

“You see the person in the car next to you, you see the person in front of you who’s doing 35 [miles per hour], now they’re doing 25, now they’re doing 38.

“That’s your brain trying to focus on more than one thing.”

Although all age groups can be found guilty of using their cell phones while driving, Antrican said millennials usually defend using their use by claiming that “everyone does it”.

But Antrican said: “Remember what your mom used to tell you: If everyone jumped off a bridge, would you do it, too?”

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