Dec 13 2011
Texting, Emailing, and Other Deadly Driving Distractions
Texting while driving, especially with younger motorists, is still an increasing problem despite all of the criticism and legal bans. Around half of all American drivers between the ages of 21 and 24 say that they have messaged or emailed while driving. And for some odd reason, a lot of drivers don’t think it’s dangerous.
There is a national survey regarding the study of distracted driving by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that describes the difficulty authorities face battling texting and cell phone use while driving.
The safety administration says that at any given moment last year on the streets and highways of America, nearly one in every 100 drivers was emailing, texting, surfing the Internet, or otherwise using a hand-held electronic device. Those and other similar activities have spiked about 50 percent from last year, and that is with the rush to ban these practices. In fact, Pennsylvania became the 35th state to forbid texting while driving last month.
Officials say that they used a new methodology aimed at getting a more accurate picture of deaths from distracted driving that cannot be compared to tallies from previous years. From that new methodology, the safety administration also states that in 2010, there were an estimated 3,092 deaths from automobile accidents related to a wide range of driver distractions.
The agency takes an annual snapshot of driving behavior. They stake out intersections to count people using cell phones, electronic devices, and other distracting behavior. While more and more drivers are using electronic gadgets, motorists are deeply conflicted.
An NHTSA survey of over 6,000 drivers found that most people said they would answer a cell phone call while driving and continue to drive after answering. Almost 2 out of every 10 people surveyed said that they send texts or emails while driving. More than half of these people stated that making cell phone calls makes not difference to their driving performance, while a quarter said says that texting or emailing makes no difference. On the other hand, 90 percent says that when they are passengers in a vehicle, feel very unsafe if the driver of that vehicle is using their cell phone behind the wheel.
A large majority of drivers surveyed in the U.S. 71 to 94 percent) support bans on cellphone use. Most say that they want violators to be punished with fines of $100 or more. Almost a quarter supported punishments from $200 to $499.
For more information, read CNN’s December 13th, 2011 article, NTSB recommends full ban on use of cell phones while driving.
Technorati Tags: Distracted Driving