One increasing threat to road safety is distracted driving. Today, one major cause of distracted driving is driving while using a cell phone. With the increasing number of people acquiring cell phones, there has been a great increase in the number of individuals using their phones while they drive.
There are two types of cell phone behaviors that normally result in dangerous driving. The first behavior is a driver handling the phone while driving such as text messaging, dialing the phone, and answering the phone. The other behavior is the actual cell phone conversation. A conversation will involve having thoughts outside of focusing on driving which reduces the ability to drive defensively and react properly. As well, the installation of new ‘in-vehicle’ communication systems is helping to influence the use of cell phones while driving.
A May 2014 summary of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration report, “The Economic and Society Impact of Motor Vehicle Crashes, 2010,” which focuses on behavioral factors that contributed to 32,999 highway fatalities and 3.9 million injuries in the U.S. in 2010, states, “Although there is a serious under-reporting bias in the data, there are trends which show that cellular telephone use is a growing factor in crashes.” (NHTSA) Also, The State Farm Insurance company reports that the annual cost of distracted driving due to cell phone use alone is: 636,000 crashes, 330,000 personal injuries, 12,000 major injuries, 2,700 deaths, and US$43 billion in damages.
More recent data regarding driving and cell phone use has revealed that if a person is using a cell phone while driving, he or she is approximately 4 times more likely to be involved in a crash than a driver who is not using a phone. The risk seems to be the same for both hands-free phones and hand-held phones. Text messaging is having an even bigger impact on driving behavior and crash risk. Many state governments across the country have had to respond to the dangers of cell phone use while driving by implementing legislation restricting people from driving while using their cell phones. Laws that restrict driver cell phone use may make it possible to track drivers who use their cell phones while they drive and penalize them according to state laws.
Risky driving behavior such as using a cell phone while driving increases the likelihood that your car insurance company will have to pay out a sizable claim. In order to reduce their financial losses and maintain their profits, insurance companies must charge a higher insurance premium. for insurance. Drivers with speeding tickets and other behaviors that result in unsafe driving which includes distracted driving, see their insurance costs increase over time. The best thing a driver can do to avoid high insurance rates and prevent accidents is to refrain from using the cell phone while driving.
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