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Survey: Distracted Driving Biggest Safety Hazard on the Road

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What's the biggest safety threat facing motorists? According to a new survey conducted by Harris Poll, it's distracted driving.

Each year, approximately 1.3 million people die from a driving-related collision or accident, while another 50 million people are injured. Driving has revolutionized the way in which we travel, allowing us to traverse long distances in a relatively short amount of time. But it doesn't come without risks. Driving poses a risk to drivers as well as passengers. Furthermore, even pedestrians and cyclists can be struck by a moving vehicle.

Distracted Driving Ranks as Leading Road Hazard

For the study, Harris Poll and Volvo surveyed over 2,000 men and women in the United States, all of whom are regular drivers, and asked them what they believe the biggest safety hazard on the road is. Researchers found that 55% of adults said distracted driving is the biggest safety hazard on the road. Surprisingly, this means distracted driving is an even greater perceived threat than driving under the influence. According to the survey, 31% of U.S. adults believe driving under the influence is the biggest safety hazard on the road.

"The increasing distractions impacting Americans across all areas of their lives are particularly acute on the road," said Volvo when discussing the survey's findings.

Using Phone While Driving

It's also worth mentioning that certain demographics are more likely to use their phone while driving than others. According to the survey, 81% of Gen X and Millennials admit to using their phone while driving. On the other hand, 71% of Baby Boomers admit to using their phone while driving.

How to Stay Safe When Driving

There will always be an inheret risk of collision when driving, but you can lower your risk of collision -- and therefore protect against driving-related injury and fatality -- by following a few simple steps. First and foremost, never use your phone while driving. Glancing down at your phone for just a split second to read a text message is all it takes to cause an accident. You may fail to see a vehicle stopping in front of your vehicle, or you may run through a red light or stop sign. Regardless, wait until you've found a safe place to pull over before using your phone.

Equally important when driving, be conscious of where other vehicles are in relation to your vehicle. By maintaining a heightened sense of awareness, you can drive more defensively to avoid collision.

You can learn more about this survey by visiting Volvo's website here.

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