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Research shows legislation does little to curb distracted driving

The next time you travel down one of Hawaii's roadways, take a look around to see just how many motorists are actively using their cellphones behind the wheel. While Hawaii and many other states across the nation have laws in place that ban the use of handheld cellphones while driving, research shows that many drivers in Hawaii and across the nation fail to heed them.

According to Car and Driver, a recent study on the prevalence of distracted driving in America reveals some troubling findings regarding the rate at which U.S. motorists continue to drive while distracted. The study shows that, while new legislation prohibiting cellphone use and distracted driving is reducing the problem to some degree, the issue is still widespread, even though drivers are admittedly aware of the dangers associated with doing it.

Sobering statistics

Just how many of today’s American motorists are letting their phones and other distractions divert their attention away from the road? New research shows that about 5% of all drivers spend between 25 and 30% of their driving time distracted and that about 10% of motorists drive distracted between 15% and 20% of the time they sit behind the wheel.

Also troubling is the fact that 1% of all drivers spend between 45% and 50% of their driving time distracted. To put this in perspective, one out of every 100 motorists you encounter on the roadway ignores the road about half of the time.

Time of year matters

Statistics show that drivers are more likely to drive distracted by texting and driving at certain times of the year, and the holiday season is one such time. Comparatively speaking, on a typical weekend, about 9% of drivers text while driving, whereas around Thanksgiving and Christmas, more than 12% of motorists do the same.

Driving distracted often leads to serious, potentially life-changing repercussions. Motorists who drive distracted unnecessarily endanger their own lives as well as those of everyone they encounter on the roadway.

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