Do Not Text While Driv­ing

Trillions - - Contents -

Just in case you need a re­minder...

Peo­ple who text while driv­ing are six times more likely to be in­volved in a car crash. To com­bat this prob­lem, more and more states are adopt­ing driv­ing laws that re­quire peo­ple to use hands-free de­vices in the car. Yet a new study shows that many driv­ers are still will­ing to take the risk, as ‘fear of miss­ing out’ and sep­a­ra­tion anx­i­ety keep them from abid­ing by the law.

In the U.S., mo­bile phone us­age has been a fac­tor in one quar­ter of all car col­li­sions. How­ever, ac­tual crash risks vary based on the type of task be­ing per­formed and the ex­tent of its cog­ni­tive and phys­i­cal de­mands on the driver. Talk­ing on a mo­bile de­vice in­creases crash risk by 2.2 times whereas tex­ting in­creases risk by 6.1 times.

Ob­ser­va­tional stud­ies have found that as many as 18 per­cent of driv­ers in high-in­come coun­tries, and up to 31 per­cent in low- and mid­dle-in­come coun­tries, use their mo­bile de­vices while on the road, con­tribut­ing to sig­nif­i­cantly re­duced road safety. De­spite laws pro­hibit­ing such be­hav­ior, mo­bile phone use while driv­ing is ex­pected to in­crease and so will fa­tal­i­ties. Re­searchers found that driv­ers en­gage in self-reg­u­la­tion when de­cid­ing whether to use their phones while driv­ing, which is a process through which in­di­vid­u­als de­velop strate­gies to cope with en­vi­ron­men­tal fac­tors while main­tain­ing a high level of per­for­mance. For ex­am­ple, many driv­ers make use of stops to ini­ti­ate us­ing their mo­bile de­vice, and many are able to re­strain them­selves to us­ing phones only while stopped at in­ter­sec­tions with sig­nals. Many other re­searchers have also noted that driv­ers usu­ally re­strict en­gage­ment in heavy traf­fic or along curved sec­tions of both ur­ban and ru­ral roads.

If peo­ple aren't smart enough to drive without dis­tract­ing them­selves with their phones per­haps there should be a new tech­nol­ogy that turns phones off and keeps them off when a car is mov­ing. Bet­ter that than let­ting them en­dan­ger oth­ers.

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