Using apps may be a bigger risk than texting and driving

A recent survey suggests that most teens are using apps while driving and do not consider it distracted driving.

Discussions surrounding distracted driving often revolve around texting and driving. While texting and driving is certainly dangerous, that focus on one form of distracted driving may be leading some drivers to underestimate the dangers of other forms of distracted driving. In fact, as Forbes reports, a recent survey found that while texting and driving rates have declined among teen drivers, those same drivers are using smartphone apps while driving at an alarmingly high rate. What is even more disturbing is that most teen drivers do not see the use of such apps as being a form of distracted driving.

Texting vs. "Apping"

The survey, carried out by Liberty Mutual Insurance and Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD), asked 2,500 high school-aged students about their driving habits. The results were encouraging in some regards, but troubling in others. The good news was that texting and driving was down, with just 27 percent of respondents saying they text while driving.

The worrying news, however, is that using smartphone apps while driving is way up. The survey found that 68 percent of respondents admitted to using apps while driving. Even more worrying is that 80 percent of respondents did not consider "apping while driving" to be a form of distracted driving. As CNN reports, only six percent of respondents considered looking at or posting to social media to be the most dangerous form of distracted driving.

Dangerous no matter the distraction

The survey results highlight the need to make it clear to young drivers that distracted driving is dangerous no matter the form it takes. And the problem is not confined to teen drivers alone. Another study by the National Safety Council asked drivers of all ages about their use of social media while driving. Close to three quarters of respondents admitted to using Facebook while driving, while over a third said they used Twitter, YouTube or Instagram when behind the wheel.

Recent reports of accidents being caused by the popular video game Pokemon Go suggest that apping and driving is a very real problem. However, one problem with measuring the problem is that good data is hard to come by. Many drivers who cause a distracted driving crash do not admit to doing so, leading many safety experts to conclude that the number of people hurt and killed in distracted driving accidents is much higher than official figures suggest.

Personal injury law

Anybody who has been hurt in a motor vehicle accident, whether it was caused by distracted driving or by some other issue, should contact a personal injury attorney today. An experienced and qualified attorney can help accident victims understand what legal options they have, including whether pursuing financial claims may be able to help cover some of the burden that a traffic accident tends to cause.