About a month ago, we did a blog post on the top distractions for youthful drivers. Teen drivers are young, inexperienced, and no doubt extremely susceptible to distractions on the road, especially in the first few months. The rest of us should be old pros, right? Not quite.
According to research, nearly 70 percent of Americans ages 18-64 (and the bulk of the driving population) said they had chatted on their phones while driving in the past thirty days. Thirty percent said they had sent text messages while behind the wheel.
This dangerous phenomenon seems to be particularly American. Drivers in seven European companies were also included in the study- smartphone distraction seems to be far more common in the United States than overseas. What’s more, these distractions seem to be not one-time occurrences but regular driving habits. Thirty percent of respondents reported they used their phone on the road regularly or fairly often.
The problem persists despite regulation. At least ten states have laws forbidding drivers to use hand-held cellphones, and 39 states prohibit texting while driving. Yet using phones on the road continues to grow.
It’s not clear why people continue to use their cell phones on the road despite the widely publicized dangers. Some say national laws are needed. Some say an increasing reliance on our phones makes it harder to put them down. GPS technology, music, and driving apps make them tempting roadside companions. But they are highly distracting.
Smartphones take our eyes and hands off the road. They are visual and cognitive distractions that significantly affect our capability to drive alertly and safely on the road.
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Source: New York Times