Distractions often expose drivers to serious risks. But are the number of accidents actually caused by distracted driving under reported?
Some experts believe so.
According to recent reports, an investigation into how officers report on distracted driving crashes in Hawaii may give us an idea of how these accidents are being registered. The report shows that, in spite of the fact that distracted driving has been associated with the increase in the rate of crashes, it’s seldom reported. One of the issues researchers stumbled upon was the fact that, when involved in a distracted driving accident, drivers often avoid admitting to any wrong doing.
Admitting to Distracted Driving Is Being Slapped With a Traffic Violation
Drivers are not quick to admit they were distracted by their phones or other electronics in the event of an accident.
According to the investigation, that could have a lot to do with the fact that, admitting to using a phone involves admitting to committing a crime. Drivers who are distracted while behind the wheel are not always caught by officers, but when accidents happen, it’s up to all involved and witnesses to make the claim regarding phone use.
Experts say that the fact that the number of distracted driving-related accidents often go under reported makes it hard for experts and lawmakers to develop solutions to the problem. When you’re unaware of how often distracted driving is associated with crashes, it’s hard to come by an efficient solution to the issue.
Some of the investigations into why police officers in places like Hawaii are not always reporting that the accidents were caused by distracted driving show that officers are often in a tight spot. When making an accident report, officers are only allowed to write in what they know to be true. Knowing whether the driver was using a phone prior to the accident can only be verified before an admission of guilt.
Experts believe that something should be done to ensure officers start to report on accidents involving distractions.
When drivers are intoxicated behind the wheel, officers report on it, but distractions are seldom mentioned. Safety advocates have been pushing for a different approach to the problem so that this kind of problem is tackled. In spite of the calls for action, lawmakers are only now beginning to discuss tougher penalties.
If you’re curious to know more about this particular investigation into the under reporting of distracted driving crashes, follow this link.