Distracted driving causes millions of traffic violations each year

June 10, 2013 12:00 AM

Most motorists know that distracted driving is a serious problem on the roads today, but few are aware of how pervasive the problem is. A recent study from the National Coalition for Safer Roads and FocusDriven analyzed violations caught by red-light cameras at intersections. The findings show that nearly 12 percent of all transgressions were caused by distracted driving, which totaled more than 7.3 million instances around the U.S. in 2012. 

In the case of red light violations, nearly 40 percent of drivers were preoccupied with cell phones when approaching an intersection, while another 43.2 percent were looking away at something and 17.5 percent were eating, reading, applying makeup or taking part in a similar reckless behavior, FleetOwner reports. 

Distracted driving can lead to more serious problems than just traffic tickets. Approximately 21 percent of car crashes involved cell phone use, and drivers who use phones while operating a vehicle are four times more likely to experience an accident and have to deal with the auto repair that follows.

To combat distracted driving, organizations across the country are launching efforts to educate motorists on the dangers of these habits. Efforts like "Stop Distraction on Red" aim to highlight the dangers of traffic violations and raise awareness about ways to prevent incidents from occurring. 

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