Since our society has become more connected, we have started to forget when it is appropriate to use our handheld devices and when it's a good idea to put them down. This has become most apparent when it comes to driving. Drivers across the nation, including drivers here in North Carolina, are choosing to talk, text, tweet and post to Facebook all while driving a vehicle. As you probably know, these actions can be dangerous, especially if we consider what happens in the time it takes us to look down at our phones.
Did you know that in the time it takes a driver to glance down at their phone for two seconds, they can travel roughly 200 feet if they are going 70 mph? That's more than half of a football field! As you can imagine, 200 feet could easily mean the difference between avoiding an accident and causing one. This point was made clear in an article last month by the Claims Journal, which highlighted a study conducted by the Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety regarding the dangers of distracted driving.
Distracted driving is a growing problem in the United States as handheld technology becomes more and more accessible to people of all ages. According to the Centers for Disease Control, approximately nine people die every day because of distracted driving while some 1,153 are injured. That equates to 3,285 people per year nationwide who are killed with roughly 420,845 suffering injuries in these accidents.
At present time, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association, no state currently bans cellphone use behind the wheel for all drivers. This is problematic because adult drivers can just as easily become distracted by their cellphone as a teen driver. This might suggest to some that our laws might not be as effective at stopping distracted driving as we think.
Sources: The Centers for Disease Control, "Distracted Driving," Accessed May 29, 2015
The Governors Highway Safety Association, "Distracted Driving Laws," May 2015