Are Phones to Blame for the Spike in Traffic Deaths?
We all know the dangers of distracted driving. With smartphones becoming a regular part of daily life for Americans, public service announcements and safety campaigns have cautioned drivers for years about the risks associated with cell phone use at the wheel.
But we may have underestimated just how dangerous distracted driving really is. The New York Times recently reported a spike in traffic fatalities. The rate for 2015 was higher than the last 50 years. The numbers for 2016 look to be even higher than last year.
Smartphones have been around for the last decade or so. What is the reason for the spike now? Experts say apps could be lulling users into a false sense of security when using their phones while driving. Automated driver assistance is offered in a lot of vehicles these days. Apps like Waze help us navigate and understand traffic patterns. For all the good these apps do, they ultimately mean our eyes are on the road less.
Hands free technology has come a long way, with many vehicles now featuring voice-command options to control a person’s phone, music, navigation and more. And while the hands free choices are certainly an improvement over a driver being glued to their phone, some believe they are still potentially dangerously distracting.
As technology evolves, so will our safety strategies. However you decide to use smartphones, apps and hands free tech, make sure your number one priority is the road. Put your phone away and out of sight so you’re not tempted to pick it up at a red light. Little steps like this can save lives.
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