Traffic & RoadsWorld

The dangerous duo – Cell phones and driving

By Khalil Ahmed

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Cell phone usage while driving has become a recent trend. One of the major causes of road accidents is distracted driving, which is mainly caused by carelessness and not paying attention to the road. Drivers are often found occupied with their cell phones, too distracted to pay attention to where they are going. Unfortunately, the effects of distracted driving is not taken seriously.

Just a second of distraction or carelessness is enough to cause a fatal road accident. The estimated time of a single usage of cell phone while driving is about 5 seconds which increases the likeliness of occurrence of road accidents.

Road accidents contribute to almost 1,300,000 deaths per year, while more than 2,500,000 people are involved in road accidents every year. Apart from the alarming death toll and the number of people wounded as a result of these accidents, we also have to measure the damage to vehicles and infrastructure. The devastating effects that road accidents have on any living and non-living being have to be taken into consideration. According to statistical data gathered, every year in the United States. alone nearly 1.6 million vehicular crashes occur due to usage of cell phone while driving, which is 64% of total road accidents in the U.S.

We can find below the statistics on road accidents

  • More than 37,000 people die every year in road accidents.
  • Every year, about 421,000 people get injured due to distracted driving.
  • Yearly, About 390,000 people get injured in accidents that happened because of texting while driving
  • In the United States, 1 out of 4 car accidents happen due to texting while driving. It increases the risk of an accident by 23 times. Risk of accidents due to texting while driving is 6 times more than the risk of accidents due to drunken driving.
  • In the year 2018, 4,637 people were killed in accidents that occurred due to texting while driving.
  • 25% of car accidents occurred due to cell phone usage.
  • 20% of drivers use cell phones for texting and emailing while driving.

It is undeniable that cell phones have become an integral part of our lives and its usage has increased manifold ever since the advent of smart phones and internet connectivity in cell phones. However, it is important to understand the implications of using them while driving, which is why 94% of drivers support banning texting while driving and 7% support banning the usage of any hand-held device during driving.

While some may argue that driving doesn’t require both hands, it is important to understand that for most people it is hard to concentrate on multiple tasks at the same time and no matter how skilled the driver is, there should be no room for distraction, especially not at the cost of danger to the lives of not just the riders inside the vehicle but also bystanders or people who are victimized in the roads because of one driver’s momentary mistake.

There is a dire need to create awareness among people about the ill effects of using cell phone while driving. It is crucial to educate the masses about the dangers of distracted driving and take effective measures to curb the practise by imposing bans on using cell phones while driving.

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