Phones and Driving
by Peary Perry
from picking on the United States Post Office, I suppose my next biggest gripe
would have to be people driving while doing things with their cell phones. This
past week I watched a news story concerning the man who invented cell phones.
His was certainly a marvelous invention and itís hard to remember when we didnít
have them. Obviously these have become a part of our daily lives over the past
twenty five or so years, but I wonder how many of us are familiar with these statistics?
on a cell phone causes nearly 25% of car accidents.One-fifth
of experienced adult drivers in the United States send text messages while driving.
In 2008 almost 6,000 people were killed and a half-million were injured in crashes
related to driver distraction. At
any given time during daylight hours in 2008, more than 800,000 vehicles were
driven by someone using a hand-held cell phone.
4 out of every 5 accidents (80%) are attributed to distracted drivers. In contrast,
drunk drivers account for roughly 1 out of 3 (33%) of all accidents nationally.
driving is about 6 times more likely to result in an accident than driving while
who text while driving are 23% more likely to be in a car accident.A
study of dangerous driver behavior released in January 2007 by Nationwide Mutual
Insurance Co. found that of 1,200 surveyed drivers, 73% talk on cell phones while
driving. The same 2007 survey found that 19% of motorists say they text message
In 2005, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that 10% of
drivers are on handheld or hands free cell phones at any given hour of the day.A
study conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Motorists found
that motorists who use cell phones while driving are four times more likely to
get into crashes serious enough to injure themselves.
In 2002, the Harvard Center for Risk Analysis calculated that 2,600 people die
each year as a result of using cell phones while driving. They estimated that
another 330,000 are injured.
According to the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, drivers talking on cell
phones are 18% slower to react to brake lights. They also take 17% longer to regain
the speed they lost when they braked Of
cell phone users that were surveyed, 85% said they use their phones occasionally
when driving, 30% use their phones while driving on the highway, and 27% use them
during half or more of the trips they take.84%
of cell phone users stated that they believe using a cell phone while driving
increases the risk of being in an accident.The
majority of Americans believe that talking on the phone and texting are two of
the most dangerous behaviors that occur behind the wheel. Still, as many as 81%
of drivers admit to making phone calls while driving.
The number of crashes and near-crashes linked to dialing is nearly identical to
the number associated with talking or listening. Dialing is more dangerous but
occurs less often than talking or listening.Studies
have found that texting while driving causes a 400% increase in time spent with
eyes off the road.
These are pretty sobering numbers arenít they? Yet every
day that I am in my car I can just about tell who is dialing or texting while
trying to drive. First of they tend to weave from one lane to another or sit through
he lights after they have changed. How many times have you seen someone try to
drive, talk on the phone and eat a donut or drink coffee at the same time? I know
you have, so have I.
The number that got me was the one that said more
accidents are caused by distracted drivers than by drunk drivers. We donít need
either. With more young drivers on the road as well as older (more mature) drivers,
we all need to keep these figures in mind and not become a statistic or add to
the ever growing list.
No ones life (yours or theirs) is worth a phone
call. We all need to be more careful and drive more responsibly.
Letters From North
May 26, 2010 column
Syndicated weekly in 80 newspapers
Comments go to email@example.com
by Peary Perry - Order Now||