Hawaii residents and visitors alike would be wise to exercise caution when driving on any of the state’s islands. Research shows that Hawaii ranks high in terms of the number of motorists who are driving while distracted. Based on 2017 and 2018 statistics, Hawaii ranks fifth in the nation as far as the number of road deaths it sees that result from distracted drivers.
Per the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, Hawaii trails only New Mexico, Kansas, Kentucky and Louisiana when it comes to the number of distracted-driving-related road deaths seen on state roads per billion miles driven.
Distracted driving and handheld phones
Of the five states that have the highest number of road deaths related to distracted driving, only Hawaii has laws that prevent motorists from using handheld phones while they drive. Hawaii motorists who use their handheld phones while moving face hundreds of dollars in fines. The fine amounts become even higher if motorists drive distracted in school or construction zones. In contrast, Montana, which has no such laws banning the use of handheld cellphones while driving, sees a comparatively low number of distracted-driving-related road deaths within state lines.
Distracted driving on the rise
Statistics also show that the number of Hawaii residents and visitors losing their lives due to distracted drivers continues to rise. Between 2015 and 2018, the state saw the number of fatalities resulting from distracted drivers increase by more than 40%.
While in-vehicle cellphone use is a common form of distracted driving, it is not the only common distracted driving behavior. Eating or drinking behind the wheel or using in-vehicle navigation systems may constitute distracted driving. Conversing with passengers or children in the backseat may also fall under this umbrella.