State Farm has been conducting an annual survey since 2009 that tracks the behaviors of drivers in relation to their cell phones.
The statistics show that talking on cell phones has decreased. Texting and driving has remained steady. Surfing the web while driving has SKYROCKETED.
According to State Farm, the number of drivers who access the internet has doubled. What about those who read their email behind the wheel? That’s almost doubled as well.
Since 2007, 44 states and the District of Columbia have enacted bans on texting while driving. Fourteen states and Washington, D.C., prohibit the use of hand-held cell phones while driving. There is no states that totally prohibit some cell phone use behind the wheel.
In fiscal years 2014 and 2015, Connecticut was the only state to qualify for distracted driving funding approved by Congress in the federal transportation bill. It was the only state to meet the strict requirements of the bill, such as progressive fines for repeat offenses and no exceptions for drivers who text while stopped at a traffic light.
With the alarming increases and no real laws to stop the internet usage from increasing while behind the wheel, what can be done? Some drivers have taken it upon themselves to regulate when they use their cell phones. In fact, according to State Farm, 63% of drivers check their cell phones while at a stop light. That may seem safe, but not using a cell phone behind the wheel at all should be the goal for everyone.
Research from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that more than one-third of all crashes – 36% -- occur at intersections. Driver recognition and decision errors – which include things such as failure to see or recognize potential dangers from other vehicles – accounted for 84% of those crashes.
It is clear to all by now that the use of cell phone while in a vehicle poses an increased hazard to drivers on the roadway. Can you avoid the temptation?
It is hard, isn’t it? Your phone buzzes while you are headed down the road. Can you avoid looking at it?
You stop at a red light. That is safe, right? Nothing makes a red light turn green faster than trying to get through a few emails.
Driving safety requires reason and common sense. As long as you keep that in mind, and make good decisions, you should remain a safe driver on the road.
Now if we can just do something about all of the other drivers…….