Texting while driving may be dangerous, but it pales in comparison to the dangers of daydreaming while behind the wheel, a new study says.
According to new research by the Erie Insurance Group, daydreaming drivers are five times more likely to suffer a deadly car crash than those who were focused on an electronic device.
“The results were disturbing,” Erie Senior Vice President Doug Smith told NBC News.
After an examination of the 65,000 deadly car accidents that have occurred in America over the last two years, Erie Insurance Group determined that 10 percent stemmed from distracted driving. That particular figure has been corroborated by federal estimates, NBC News reports.
However, the study also found that 62 percent of the fatal accidents were a direct result of the driver’s “daydreaming.” Within the study’s parameters, daydreaming could consist of anything from running a red light to failing to recognize a sharp turn. Meanwhile, only 12 percent of these accidents were attributed to mobile phone use.
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"Distracted driving is any activity that takes your eyes off the road, your hands off the wheel, or your mind off your primary task of driving safely," Smith told NBC News. "We looked at what law enforcement officers across the country reported when they filled out reports on fatal crashes and the results were disturbing. We hope the data will encourage people to avoid these high-risk behaviors that needlessly increase their risk of being involved in a fatal crash."
The study also listed “rubbernecking,” boisterous children and eating as distractions that led to fatal crashes.