PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. - Distracted driving is a growing danger across the nation. But before dialing up cellphones as the chief culprit, a new study suggests that 'daydreaming' drivers may be even more dangerous.
"They don't even know they're driving," said Frank Cantor, Owner of Cantor's Driving School in Deerfield Beach.
"Half the time out here, they don't even know they're driving." The school is one of the only schools in the area with a driving simulator to help students learn the rules of the road, without the risks of the road. Cantor said he sees distracted drivers all too often; but that cell phone use is not always to blame.
A new study by the Erie Insurance Group in Pennsylvania analyzed 65,000 fatal crashes in the U.S. over the last two years. Six out of ten distracted driving crashes did not appear to involve a cell phone, according to the report. Instead, researchers found that drivers involved were simply 'lost in thought'.
"The white lines become blurry," said Glen Topping, a certified driving instructor and former Broward County Sheriff's Office Deputy. "The scenery on each side becomes blurry and you're just driving in a fog," he said.
The study found that just twelve percent of accidents were blames on some form of mobile phone use.
April is National Distracted Drivers Awareness Month. Florida lawmakers, meanwhile, are closer than ever before passing ban on texting while driving. The House of Representatives will vote on the proposed ban as early as this week. The legislation will make its way to the Senate floor soon after.