According to a study done by West Virginia University, injuries from texting while driving and “distracted driving” will rise, despite laws and warnings issued by many States. According to the WVU study, in 2003, cell phone use was responsible for over 300,000 accidents, including 2600 fatalities. In the years 2005 thru 2009, the numbers of injuries and fatalities increased by 22%. The researchers behind the study, Dr Coben and Dr Zhu both believe the numbers are going to get worse due to the fact that younger drivers use cell phones more than older drivers, and coupled with younger drivers inexperience behind the wheel and growing up with these devices will make accidents and injuries much more likely to happen unless more is down to stop distracted driving.
39 States currently ban texting while driving, and 10 States have banned handheld cell phone use while driving. This coupled with all the awareness campaigns still has not significantly reduced the amount of injuries involved with distracted driving. Dr.’s Coben and Zhu believe that there is enough technology available to mandate car manufacturers prepare automobiles that disable texting and/or convert it to voice messaging. This would allow drivers to communicate without looking away from the road.
However we find a way to minimize distracted driving, it must be done quickly. If the survey numbers are correct, we have almost half a million accidents a year due to people driving while being distracted on their mobile devices. That is way too many injuries that could be prevented, and until it is, our roads are not as safe, and your insurance premiums will continue to rise. You can read more about the study here.
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