In 2014, over 32,000 people were killed in traffic accidents, and at least 10 percent of these crashes were related to distracted driving. As the issue grows, due to the increase in production of cars with highly intuitive infotainment systems and the growing popularity of smartphones, safety advocates are becoming concerned.
To the founder of the Center for Internet and Technology Addiction, any type of activity that takes the person’s attention away from the task of driving can be categorized as distracted driving. Distractions may include eating and drinking, using a cell phone, a navigation system, or even using a phone to play games. And while many states have harsh distracted driving laws, CITA’s founder says, laws are not the only solution to this problem.
When drivers text while operating a vehicle, they are 23 times more likely to become involved in a traffic collision. According to a recent survey on the subject, one-third of respondents admitted they text while driving. Another research carried out by Liberty Mutual Insurance and Students Against Destructive Decisions showed that at least 68 percent of teens also admit using their phones to check apps while driving.
The use of smartphones is addictive, CITA’s founder added. As more and more technologies are developed and drivers are given access to these technologies, simply having officers out to enforce these laws is not the answer. Instead, the safety expert says, smartphone and technology makers should be part of the solution, creating systems that will keep drivers from using their phones while behind the wheel.
As drivers who are smartphone users become more concerned about their own safety, they also become more concerned about making use of technology to avoid distractions.
If you’re a driver and a smartphone user, keeping in mind that using technology in your favor, to both keep you and others safe, will help you to boost road safety.
For more on what safety experts are saying about the risks and how technology could actually help, follow this link.