A recent survey by AAA found that 82% of Washington state drivers say they no longer hold their cell phones while behind the wheel as compared with just 69% in 2018, reports Patch.
When asked why they no longer handle or manipulate their phones while driving the reasons varied. Some respondents noted that passengers and children asked them to stop because they felt unsafe. Others pointed to crash scene images and real-life accounts from people who either caused or survived a distracted driving collision.
Moreover, when asked about specific risky behaviors over the last month, AAA said there was a 46% decline in drivers sending texts while driving as compared with 2018, notes the report.
But the survey is still sobering. While statewide distracted driving rates have fallen to around their pre-pandemic levels, officials said nearly 30% of deadly car crashes involved at least one distracted driver. Even with the downward trend, Washington saw nearly 18,000 crashes related to distracted driving in 2021, according to Patch.
Nationally, distracted driving continues to be one of today’s most dangerous roadway problems. Some 3,142 people lost their lives on U.S. roadways in 2020 due to distracted driving, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.