Distracted driving has always been a problem that causes severe accidents on the road. These accidents often have dire consequences not just for the distracted driver but also to other drivers and pedestrians that they encounter on the road. There are three types of distracted driving; visual, manual, and cognitive. Simply put, visual distractions take the driver’s eyes away from the road, manual distractions remove a driver’s hand from the steering wheel, and cognitive distraction is when a driver’s mind wanders and takes his focus from the task of driving.
The invention of cell phones has had a significant impact on the rate of distracted drivers. Because of the mobility of cell phones, drivers can bring them along while driving which can lead to distraction. Smartphones then came along and brought more distraction than ever. Smartphones enabled drivers to be connected to the Internet anywhere, no matter what they’re doing. Social media apps have become easily accessible, further bringing the rate of distracted drivers up, especially younger drivers who constantly check their smartphones for updates on their social media account.
Despite additional safety features added to vehicles each time a new model comes out, recent studies show that the death toll on US roads are still increasing, and ultimately human error is to blame. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 97% of fatalities in vehicular accidents are caused by human error, a portion of which is because of distracted drivers. The total number of deaths on the road increased by 14% in just two years.
Safewise, a security and safety review website, conducted an analysis which yields the following results: Mississippi is the most dangerous state for driving with 23.1 deaths per 100,000 population while Washington DC is the safest city for drivers with only 4 deaths per 100,000. Looking into the data available, Mississippi doesn’t have a state-wide ban on handheld cellphone use while driving while on the other hand, Washington DC does have a ban on handheld mobile devices while driving. These results show that there’s a correlation between distracted driving caused by the use of cellphones and vehicular accident deaths. The analysis also indicates that the age group most prone to distracted driving is 15-19 years old.
The solution to this problem may seem relatively straightforward, but even with laws being passed to prevent drivers from using their smartphones while driving, data from various studies seem to prove otherwise. We are not learning from our mistakes, and it looks like the further along we go, the more prevalent distracted driving becomes; this is the reason why insurance companies are taking steps to make sure that drivers realize just how dangerous distracted driving can be. They do this by increasing the premiums for auto insurance.
Because the number of road accidents increases every year, insurance companies have no choice but to raise premiums as well. Aside from the increase in accidents, the cost of having a damaged vehicle repaired also increased because of all the new technology that manufacturers add to their products. If this trajectory of car accidents continue, you will also continue to see further increase in your auto insurance premium.
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