We love our cell phones. We are addicted. A text arrives during an important discussion? Most of us pause and look. The phone rings? We answer it. In some places — like meetings, visiting with friends and family or in other places — it is sometimes considered rude.
While driving an automobile it is always considered dangerous.
Zendrive is a firm that tracks data. It recently did a huge study of drivers and ride-sharing fleets. By huge we mean really huge. The number is 2.3 million and that 2.3 million drove 5.6 million miles.
Of the 2.3 million, Zendrive said 12% are mobile phone addicts. The firm’s CEO and co-founder Jonathan Matus said they call, text and scroll through applications more than three-times the rate of the average driver. It’s a problem he says cannot be fixed.
“Without decisive action and a lot of education, it will be difficult to see the trend reverse. We’re just starting and I feel like it’s still an uphill battle,” he said.
Matus said laws to ban calling, texting, etc. in vehicles hasn’t dented the problem. He noted 15 states that have bans in place and those laws have only decreased such use by two-points. So instead of 12% doing this, 10% are.
“That’s an area of great concern to me. It means either the rules are not known, the enforcement is not effective or people are so addicted to their phones they’re willing to take the risk,” Matus said.
Zendrive pointed out that highway deaths between 2014 and 2016 rose by 14.4%. Matus said no doubt the jump has a lot to do with using mobile phones and other devices while driving. Delving deeper into the percentage increase and one notes large increases in the deaths of pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists.
All are easily missed by a distracted motorist.
Matus and Zendrive said most police reports do not have a box to record mobile device distraction as a collision cause. The National Safety Council found the same thing. Just half the fatal crashes caused by distracted driving were tied to mobile phone use. Plus, prosecutors find it difficult to obtain mobile phone data so it’s easier to pursue charges for speeding or drinking.
Zendrive seems to have a handle on the problem since its study includes a very large number of people.
A recent study by the National Safety Council, a nonprofit that partners with national regulators, found that only about half of fatal crashes tied to mobile phone use were coded as such in federal databases.
The highest percentages of high-risk drivers were found in a broad swath of the south.
Zendrive may be providing the clearest view of the problem and paints a realistic picture of the driving habits of people in the U.S.
• Less than 1/3 of drivers are considered risky
• 71% show no risk at all
• 8% are speeders and speed at 6x more than the average driver
• 9% accelerate or brake excessively
“Unfortunately,” Matus said, “30 percent of 200 million (drivers) is a pretty large number.”
The Pacific Northwest and New England have the lowest risk drivers. The higher risk drivers are found in the south in a swath running from New Mexico to Florida to Georgia.
For cellphone use, the least distracted drivers are found in the Rocky Mountain states of Montana, Idaho and Wyoming. It might now — however — be for the reasons one thinks. Service is spotty in the mountains.
Source link: Insurance Business America