Smartphone usage has risen exponentially over the last few years, and it appears that Americans are unable to stay away from their mobiles even while driving.
Cellphone usage while driving plays a pivotal role in traffic-related accidents and casualties in the United States each year. A new study reveals just how widespread this problem has become in the country and the dangerous habit continues to grow.
Cellphone Usage While Driving Study
Zendrive conducted the Distracted Driving Behavior study to observe the duration and frequency of a cellphone use while driving.
The researchers analyzed 3 million drivers over a period of three months. A total of 570 million trips were made by these drivers from December 2016 to February 2017, and these trips covered nearly 5.6 billion miles.
The researchers noted that the drivers engaged with their smartphone in 88 percent of the trips. The average time for which the cellphones were used was around 3.5 minutes for every 60 minutes of driving time.
Vermont ranked number one when it came to the state with the most distracted drivers, whereas Oregon drivers were the least bit distracted. Los Angeles led the list of the most-distracted cities while driving. However, surprisingly, California had the least-distracted drivers.
What is even more frightening is the fact that a mere 2 seconds of distraction while driving increases the risk of severe accidents by 20 times.
This statistic is terrifying considering that vehicle-related deaths increased by 6 percent in 2016 when compared to 2015. A total 14 percent increase in road deaths due to accidents was recorded from 2014 to 2016.
What Steps Should Be Taken To Counter Distracted Driving?
The study provides a detailed analysis of cell phone usage causing distractions while driving. It also highlights the dangers that arise while engaging in such activities behind the wheel.
"We all know this first hand - we see folks on the road on their phones all the time and many of us would admit that we too are doing it several times every trip. ... But until today it hasn't been clear just how big and how common the problem is," stated Jonathan Matus, Zendrive CEO.
To counter the issue, states would need to implement stricter laws against use of cell phones while driving. Many states in the United States have imposed a ban on using hand-held devices while driving. However, some states are yet to take this route.
In the end, the responsibility rests with the driver and he or she should be careful and avoid any distractions while driving. This will ensure not only their own safety, but also that of others.