An extensive study was conducted that focused on the driving habits of smartphone users. The study showed that nine out of 10 people use their smartphones while driving.
An analytics company called ZenDrive took a closer look at an enormous collection of driving data, which revealed information of over three million drivers, logging 5.6 billion miles and 570 million trips. The data showed that out of every 100 trips, drivers used their phones 88 percent of the time. It was also discovered that drivers used their phones 3.5 minutes out of every hour that they were driving.
ZenDrive uses technology to tap into smartphone sensors, determining the phone usage while driving. It was found that there are approximately 5.6 million trips per day taken in the United States in which drivers are talking and texting while behind the wheel. Even before the ZenDrive study, the Edgar Snyder and Associates Law Firm confirmed that an estimated 660,000 people used their smartphones while driving every day.
We have seen time and time again that texting and talking while driving is dangerous. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety conducted a study and found that 81.8% of the people that did the survey agreed that emailing, texting, and talking on the phone was dangerous and a threat to their safety. A whopping 78.2% of them said that it was completely unacceptable to use a smartphone while operating a vehicle. If so many people agree that it is unsafe to use a phone while operating a vehicle, why is there still such a high percentage of people who take part in this unsafe behavior?
Even though many understand how dangerous it is to use a phone while driving, sadly a majority of drivers still continue to do so. This presents a number of safety concerns to both the driver and other people on the roads.
Smartphones are very accessible and more ingrained in people’s daily lives than they ever have been. Drivers are prone to glance at their phones while driving, and even those split-second glances can have serious consequences. In fact, drivers are 20 times more likely to be involved in an accident if they take their eyes off the road for just a few seconds. Unfortunately, there is no clear way to effectively fix this issue. States like New Jersey and Vermont rank the highest for having the most distracted drivers.
Snapchat and Apple have had lawsuits filed against them due to their role in distracting drivers and causing traffic accidents, though no company has made the push towards shutting down devices while the users travel at a high rate of speed. Technology allows applications to monitor a person’s rate of speed while using their devices, so it only makes sense that more can be done to shut down the use of certain applications if a person exceeds a certain speed limit. Still yet, it becomes difficult to determine whether the person is a driver or passenger in a vehicle. Hopefully, as technology continues to advance, we will find better capabilities of being able to keep driver’s eyes on the road and hands on the steering wheel instead of on their smartphones.