Do you feel like you’re surrounded by more careless, inattentive drivers than ever before? The auto insurance industry research reports that distracted driving has increased more than 30 percent from February 2020 to February 2022. The researchers offer the theory that this increase is due to people’s driving skills deteriorating during the pandemic.
We operate a vehicle body repair shop in Southeastern MA, and we see the results of distracted driving all of the time. Sometimes these are relatively minor incidents – someone is checking their phone while parking in the store parking lot and bumps the light post – while other times unfortunately people are injured or even killed.
Is the increase in distracted driving due to COVID?
We can’t answer that question. What we can say is that as much as possible we can all take steps to make sure we’re not distracted while we’re driving. It’s important to be paying attention to what’s going on in traffic – including keeping an eye open for other drivers who may not be paying attention to you!
The drivers most likely to be distracted are those between the ages of 16-20. During this age, the driving skills are still being developed. If you’re a parent or person in position to influence a younger driver to do things like not use their phone while driving – even for just a second to change playlists – it’s a great way to help them stay alive.
Don’t be fooled into thinking you can’t be distracted. We’re all vulnerable to thinking the incoming call is the one we’ve been desperately waiting for, or to have our minds wander onto other topics during the routine drive home at the end of the day. Taking a defensive driving course is one way to increase your alertness and awareness while behind the wheel.