The popularity of smartphones is unprecedented. Everywhere you look, people are staring down at their screens scrolling through Facebook feeds, checking the latest images on Instagram or texting their significant others about what to pick up at the grocery store. The use of smartphones while driving can result in deadly consequences. Recently, national statistics has released some sobering facts:
- In 2014, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that 18% of crashes and 16% of all police-reported crashes were due to a distracted driver.
- In 2014, there were an estimated 3200 people killed and an additional 431K people wounded by distracted drivers.
- Approximately 660K drivers are using their smartphones while on the road at any given time. That number has held steady since 2010.
- A whopping 10% of drivers aged 15 to 19 were involved in fatal crashes due to distraction at the time of the accident.
- In 2014, over 500 non-occupants were killed by distracted drivers.
What can you do to help?
Keep your hands on the wheel and your attention on the road ahead – the use of a car phone holder and other hands-free options will make you a safer driver. With the advent of voice commands and “Siri”, most calls and texts can be made without ever touching your smartphone – and without taking your eyes off the road.
Clear instructions – Try to impress upon new drivers that the use of a smartphone while driving – even for a few seconds – can end in a fatal crash for them – or even worse, an innocent bystander.
Be a good example – No one should text and drive. Try your best to set a good example for others and if you need to text or talk on the phone, either pull over to a safe place or use voice commands and a good car phone holder.