Bloomberg: Smartphones and Distracted Driving Fueling Spike in Traffic Fatalities

Everyone knows that drinking and driving is a fatal combination, one which leads to thousands of traffic deaths every year. According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving, 28 people die every day in the United States due to drunk driving crashes, and more than 10,000 fatalities a year are caused by driving under the influence of alcohol.

Those are horrifying statistics, but distracted driving due to smartphone use is also starting to make an impact on traffic fatalities. According to a must-read article over at Bloomberg — Smartphones are Killing Americans, But Nobody is Counting — driving accident fatalities have jumped in recent years, despite safer vehicles, more safety technologies, and the tireless efforts of groups like MADD.

The Bloomberg article points out that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) doesn’t accurately track accidents caused by smartphone usage while driving, but a number of factors point towards smartphones as the culprit. Here’s a telling excerpt from the Bloomberg article:

There are many reasons to believe mobile phones are far deadlier than NHTSA spreadsheets suggest. Some of the biggest indicators are within the data itself. In more than half of 2015 fatal crashes, motorists were simply going straight down the road—no crossing traffic, rainstorms, or blowouts. Meanwhile, drivers involved in accidents increasingly mowed down things smaller than a Honda Accord, such as pedestrians or cyclists, many of whom occupy the side of the road or the sidewalk next to it. 

Most states have passed laws banning texting while driving, but it’s clear that more needs to be done. (Source: Bloomberg)



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