Survey shows there are fewer distracted drivers in Washington
OLYMPIA, Wash. — An observational survey focusing on distracted driving has been released by the Washington Traffic Safety Commission (WTSC) and the numbers show that distracted driving is down.
The survey findings estimate that the distraction rate is one percent less than it was in 2016 and 2017.
According to the WTSC, what classifies as driver distraction is any activity that diverts attention and full engagement from the task of driving. This includes being lost in thought, smoking, eating, grooming, reading, interacting with passengers or vehicle controls, and using an electronic device.
The most significant decrease was in drivers holding their cell phones. In 2016 and 2017, 5.6 and 5.7 percent (respectively) of observed drivers were holding a cell phone. In 2018, that decreased to 3.4 percent.
The decrease of cell phone use could be linked to the Driving Under the Influence of Electronics Act (E-DUI), which was passed in 2017. This act prohibits any hand-held device use while operating a vehicle.
WTSC does report there has been an increase in other distracting behaviors like eating, tuning a radio, or attending to pets or children. To view the whole report, click here.
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