What role do cellphones play in contributing to auto accidents?

2019-12-06T20:52:43+00:00December 18th, 2016|

Most people in Orange County probably know that cellphone use in general can be dangerous while operating a motor vehicle. However, those same people often fail to put down their cellphones while they are behind the wheel of a vehicle.

Cellphones have become such an integral part of everyday life in today’s society. But the widespread growth of cellphone use has come with some problems, and auto accidents are one of them. This begs the question of what role do cellphones play in contributing to accidents?

Statistics from studies by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Safety Council and other sources, help to reveal the true dangers of cellphone use while driving. For example, 25 percent of all auto accidents involve a cellphone, and people increase their risk of an accident by 400 percent when they use a cellphone while driving.

Another data point that helps to capture the dangers of texting and driving in particular, comes from the NSC’s Annual Estimate of Cell Phone Crashes for the year 2013. That report showed that 341,000 motor vehicle accidents during that year involved texting and driving.

Younger drivers seem to be especially dangerous when it comes to cellphone use behind the wheel. People who are between the ages of 21 and 24 are most likely to drive while sending a text or email. Likewise, 40 percent of teenagers responded affirmatively to a survey asking whether they had been a passenger in a vehicle where the driver’s cellphone use endangered the people in the vehicle.

According to a study published in the Journal of Adolescent Health, a driver can safely take their eyes off the road for only two seconds. By contrast, another study revealed that it takes an average of nearly five seconds to send a text message.

The data confirms what most people should already know: cellphones and driving are not a good mix. Cellphone use is a form of distracted driving that leads to fatal car accidents on a regular basis. People who refuse to put their phones down while driving could also be engaging in negligence toward the other people with whom they share the roadways.

Source: Huffington Post, “10 Statistics That Capture The Dangers of Texting and Driving,” Erin Schumaker, June 8, 2015