How many cars do you usually pass during your drive to work every morning?
These statistics come the heels of a massive effort to focus attention on the dangers of distracted driving. The California Highway Patrol has recently been focusing nearly exclusively on enforcing the state’s distracted driving ban, but still, the numbers show that many drivers simply are not getting the message.
The results showed an increase in distracted drivers; the overall rate was 10.8% of drivers were using their phone in some way while behind the wheel. During a similar observational study last year, only 7.3% of drivers were distracted by phones.
While there were increases in every age group, the California Office of Traffic Safety says the most dramatic increase was in the 16-to-25-year-old group, reportedly doubling from 9% in 2011 to 18% in 2012.
This younger group of drivers is more comfortable using smartphones to stay in contact, and utilize various apps.
“Now that smartphones are becoming the majority, people are using them more often and in many more ways. This might be helpful in a lot of places, but definitely not behind the wheel,” said OTS Director Christopher J. Murphy in a press release.