Cell phones have gotten smarter, but have their owners? There is increasing concern that individuals are more fascinated with their phones than they are willing to give care and consideration to their own safety.
Andy Boxall, in an article called “Forget Ebola, We’ve Turned Our Smartphones Into Silent Killing Machines” For Digital Trends, had a lot to say about the way people disregard their own safety when it comes to cell phone usage:
The problem is that we include our phones in everything we do, regardless of what it is, where, and with whom. The warning signs they could be turning against us have been visible for a while, yet we haven’t heeded them.
Forget about the privacy and security scare stories, the real risk in modern phone ownership is us disregarding our own safety, or that of others around us when we’re using these things.
Though commenters expressed skepticism regarding Boxall’s observations phones, there is some statistical proof that cell phone misuse can be deadly. Especially when driving is involved.
In 2005, a study found that use of cell phones while driving resulted in an average of 2,600 deaths and 330,000 injuries in the United States each year. In 2011, there were reportedly 3,331 fatal texting crashes, and 387,000 injuries caused by cell phone use.
The percentage leap is troublesome, and definite proof that distracted driving behaviors are on the rise.
Distracted driving occurs when individuals spend time and attention doing anything other than driving.
— CVSA (@CVSA) October 30, 2014
It could be time spent fixing one’s hair, finding a song on the radio, or eating fast food. But for many drivers, statistics show that a disconcerting amount of their time behind the wheel involves the use of their phones.
According to an infographic created by the National Safety Council, one out of every three drivers regularly uses a cell phone while operating a vehicle. The NSC found that there is no added safety in using a hands-free cell phone device in a car. Drivers who talk on their phones while driving are four times MORE likely to experience a car crash than non-distracted individuals.
— KSAT 12 (@ksatnews) October 1, 2014
Persons who drive while distracted cell phones might believe that their actions are at least safer than choosing to drive while intoxicated. However, research seems to suggest that this is untrue.
A University of Utah study found that persons on the phone while driving would likely have even slower reaction times than a driver with an 0.08 blood alcohol level. Across the United States, law enforcement agencies are taking steps to enforce laws that ban cell phone usage, including sending texts while operating a vehicle.
— Vermont State Police (@VTStatePolice) September 23, 2014
The Governor’s Highway Safety Association states that 14 U.S. states have outright banned the use of hand-held phones for drivers. As for texting while driving, the GHSA said that 44 states currently have a ban in place.
Why do you think so many people willingly risk their safety and that of others by using cell phones while driving?
[Image Credit: p.Gordon]