Checking in and posting to social media accounts while driving is a disturbing trend that is jeopardizing the safety of everyone on the road. According to recent statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), every age group is spending more time on their phones while driving.
The use of Snapchat, Instagram, and other social media platforms while driving is becoming more common and is incredibly distracting for drivers. A driver who is traveling at 55 miles per hour will have traveled 100 yards (the length of a football field) completely blind if they take their eyes off the road for five seconds to pay attention to social media. During these brief moments of distraction, a severe accident could occur.
Distracted Driving and Social Media Statistics
When it comes to social media use behind the wheel, the most concerning group of drivers is, unsurprisingly, young people. NHTSA figures from a recent study show a dramatic rise in cell phone use while driving among people between 16 and 24, from 1.1% in 2009 to 4.5% in 2016.
However, young drivers are not the only guilty parties. The same NHTSA study found that 2% of drivers between 25 and 69 are also staring at their screens, and about a half a percent of those over 69 are doing so as well.
Those numbers represent significant increases over previous years, with about 1.1% of 25-69-year-olds looking at their phones in 2009, and as few as 0.1% of those over 69 doing so as recently as 2014.
These official government figures may suggest less of a problem than is actually present on the road every day. A study by AT&T found that a full 40% of drivers use social media while driving, and as many as 70% send texts, email, or view social media while in the driver’s seat.
Distracted Driving Leads to Deaths and Serious Injuries
According to Business of Apps, Snapchat has 173 million daily users who, as of the first quarter of 2017, send over 3 billion “snaps” per day.
On our nation’s roadways, the most recent figures released by NHTSA show that thousands of fatal collisions are caused by distracted drivers, at least partly because of the ubiquitous use of Snapchat and other social media platforms.
In 2016 alone, 3,450 people were killed in crashes involving distracted drivers, while 391,000 were injured. Increasingly, reckless choices like watching videos or taking videos while driving are contributing to these severe accidents. Unless more is done to curb this deadly addiction, car accidents caused by social media use are likely to increase in the coming years.
Contact a South Carolina Distracted Driving Accident Lawyer
The lawyers at Schiller & Hamilton know how dangerous it is to use social media while driving, and we are committed to helping those who have been harmed because of someone else’s recklessness.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a crash with a distracted driver, we’re ready to stand up for you and help you seek justice. Contact an experienced South Carolina car accident lawyer by phone or online to schedule a free consultation with us today.