Distracted driving is a dangerous activity that puts people’s lives at risk. If you’re hit by a distracted driver, his or her negligence is enough that you can file a claim against him or her for compensation. What is distracted driving, though, and how often does it occur?

What’s distracted driving?

Distracted driving is an activity that takes a person’s attention away from the roads. It could be something like talking on a cellphone, texting or even eating. These actions take a person’s eyes off the road and away from traffic. In a split second, a collision can occur because of this activity, and that puts other people at risk.

How often do people text behind the wheel?

The percentage of people texting or using their handheld devices behind the wheel has been increasing over the years. Between 2013 and 2014, the numbers rose from 1.7 to 2.2 percent. That means more people are distracted than before, and the potential for accidents is high.

At any one time during the day, it’s been estimated that around 660,000 drivers in America are using their cellphones or manipulating electronic devices while driving. That’s been the average number since 2010, showing that even though people are aware of the dangers, they aren’t necessarily reducing the activities that lead to distractions.

When you text, your eyes are off the road for around five seconds. In that time, you travel a shocking distance: the length of a football field. If a driver isn’t looking up during that time, he or she could collide with a pedestrian, go out of his or her lane or collide with stopped traffic.

Source: Distraction.gov, “What is distracted driving?,” accessed April 29, 2016