Distracted driving is any activity that takes your attention away from the road, and it is a serious problem that causes thousands of deaths and injuries every year. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 3,142 people died and 324,000 people were injured in crashes involving distracted drivers in the United States in 2020 alone.
Distracted driving is dangerous because it reduces your awareness, reaction time and ability to control your vehicle. When you are distracted, you lose some of your ability to notice potential hazards, pedestrians, cyclists, other vehicles and road conditions. Your reaction times are also reduced.
Indeed, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, when you use your phone to text, your eyes leave the road for at least 5 seconds. This means that, at the typical speed limit, you would have driven the equivalent of a football field blindfolded. That really drives the point home how distracted driving is so dangerous.
The risks to Staten Island drivers
Staten Island drivers face unique challenges and risks when it comes to distracted driving because we live in the most densely populated borough of New York City. We have about 8,000 people per square mile, according to the United States Census Bureau. This means that there are more people and vehicles on the road than in most other areas in the country and especially New York.
Staten Island also has limited public transportation options compared to other boroughs. Many residents rely on cars to commute to work or school, run errands, etc. This means that they spend more time behind the wheel and may be more tempted to use their phones, and this also means that they will also likely deal with traffic congestion.
Staten Island drivers also have to deal with traffic congestion and delays caused by construction projects, accidents, or weather conditions. These factors can increase stress and frustration levels and make drivers more prone to distraction.
Distracted driving is a dangerous behavior that can cause serious injuries and fatalities. Local drivers face higher risks of distracted driving due to the high population density, limited public transportation options and frequent traffic congestion and delays. But, if you are a victim, you have options.