Drivers in CT addicted to distraction? Data Drives support

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NEW HAVEN, Conn (WTNH) — Defining Connecticut’s distracted driving problem.

Stop at any intersection and you will likely see someone on their phone.

Last year over 7,000 crashes took place in Connecticut where distraction was a factor.

That’s over 20 accidents day related to distracted driving.

Adjusting the radio and talking on the phone all take focus away from the task of driving and focusing on the road.

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According to Marisa Auguste, a behavior analyst at the Connecticut transportation Safety Research Center, it’s not the main problem.

“Most of our drivers seem to be distracted by things inside of their vehicle outside of their cell phones and GPS Systems. It was more so a passenger, and possibly a dog, other things they were looking for. Maybe a purse,” said Auguste.

Auguste crunched all available data from PR-1 crash reports in Connecticut, collected by law enforcement at the scene of an accident.

More distracted crashes happen between 3 and 5 p.m.

“That’s rush hour traffic. I’m not really sure how people are able to text and also be stuck in traffic. If anyone has ever driven on 95 or 84 during that time it’s crazy,” said Auguste.

Drivers were actually found to be reading tablets and newspapers while behind the wheel.

“I’m not sure how you see when you are reading a newspaper in your car. That was very shocking to me feel like people act like they are not driving or are just on their couch,” said Auguste.

More crashes in summer months, and in bigger cities.

“You will always get the Hartford, the Bridgeport, the New Haven,” said Auguste.

That’s mostly because there are more drivers in those cities, not necessarily more distracted drivers.

The data gives a clear vision of what drivers in the Nutmeg State are doing on the roads.

For Auguste, it’s eye opening and infuriating.

“It makes me mad, honestly because I feel like that person is being incredibly careless and selfish. They are not concerned about how their distraction may affect me,” said Auguste.

Drivers between the ages of 17 and 30 were involved in the most distracted driving accidents.

10 deaths were reported last year directly relation to distraction. That includes, drivers, passengers and pedestrians.