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Mobile phones and other gadgets to blame in 25% of all car crashes

Texting while driving greatly increases the risk of crashing
Texting while driving greatly increases the risk of crashing
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Texting while driving greatly increases the risk of crashing
Texting while driving greatly increases the risk of crashing

Mobile phones and other similar gadgets are to blame for 25% of all car crashes in the United States, a report by the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) has revealed. The reports also states that drivers are distracted 50% of the time and that resulting injuries ranges from minor to fatal.

The study by the non-profit group also revealed that the risk increase as a result of texting on a mobile phone is greater than the risk increase when making voice calls. Barbara Harsha, GHSA executive director, commented,

“Despite all that has been written about driver distraction, there is still a lot that we do not know. Clearly, more studies need to be done addressing both the scope of the problem and how to effectively address it.”

As no hard evidence suggests that hands-free devices are less risky that handheld, and the effectiveness of mobile phone usage bans while driving is not definitive, the reports recommendations are rather inclusive. It suggests that the 41 remaining states without handheld mobile phone driving bans defer passing relative laws, and monitor the success and failures of existing laws in other states first.

6 Comments

  1. I think we live in a culture where business people need to ‘hit the ball over the net’. Teens consider it rude not to reply immediately to texts. Home schedules would grind to a halt without immediate communication. We are conditioned to pursue this level of efficiency but we are all supposed cease this behavior once we sit in our respective 5,000 pound pieces of steel and glass. Anyone can win an argument in a forum like this by saying “Just put the phone away” – but we can see its just not happening. I just read that 72% of teens text daily – many text more 4000 times a month. New college students no longer have email addresses! They use texting and Facebook – even with their professors. This text and drive issue is in its infancy and I think we need to do more than legislate.

    I decided to do something about distracted driving after my three year old daughter was nearly run down right in front of me by a texting driver. Instead of a shackle that locks down phones and alienates the user (especially teens) I built a tool called OTTER that is a simple GPS based texting auto reply app for smartphones. It also silences call ringtones while driving unless you have a bluetooth enabled. I think if we can empower the individual then change will come to our highways now and not just our laws.

    Erik Wood, owner

    OTTER LLC

    OTTER app

  2. I think we live in a culture where business people need to ‘hit the ball over the net’. Teens consider it rude not to reply immediately to texts. Home schedules would grind to a halt without immediate communication. We are conditioned to pursue this level of efficiency but we are all supposed cease this behavior once we sit in our respective 5,000 pound pieces of steel and glass. Anyone can win an argument in a forum like this by saying “Just put the phone away” – but we can see its just not happening. I just read that 72% of teens text daily – many text more 4000 times a month. New college students no longer have email addresses! They use texting and Facebook – even with their professors. This text and drive issue is in its infancy and I think we need to do more than legislate.

    I decided to do something about distracted driving after my three year old daughter was nearly run down right in front of me by a texting driver. Instead of a shackle that locks down phones and alienates the user (especially teens) I built a tool called OTTER that is a simple GPS based texting auto reply app for smartphones. It also silences call ringtones while driving unless you have a bluetooth enabled. I think if we can empower the individual then change will come to our highways now and not just our laws.

    Erik Wood, owner

    OTTER LLC

    OTTER app

    1. @OTTERapp Agreed! Social media is changing the world and it’s tough for our generation-y to weigh the dangers and downsides of such an environment like the one they live in. (you can check out some more cool stuff my colleague has written about on genyrant )

      There’s no doubt that texting while driving is a problem though:

  3. @OTTERapp Agreed! Social media is changing the world and it’s tough for our generation-y to weigh the dangers and downsides of such an environment like the one they live in. (you can check out some more cool stuff my colleague has written about on genyrant )

    There’s no doubt that texting while driving is a problem though:

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Darren McCarra
Darren McCarra is co-editor of The Sociable. He has a keen interest in photography, all things mobile, and writing about technology and social media. You can follow him on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.