It’s 6:00 pm and you’re driving your usual route home from work, when a familiar sound is heard indicating that you’ve received a text message. Should you check it?
New data collected by Cambridge Mobile Telematics has proven that distractions due to smartphones have made our roads more dangerous. The purpose of the study comes as safety advocates raise concerns about injuries and fatalities on the road. The study also suggests that there are little to no laws and regulations to reduce the problem of cellphone use while behind the wheel. Thirty-seven states have active anti-cellphone laws, but are these laws enough to keep people from texting and driving?
CMT’s study suggests that in states with anti-cellphone laws, “drivers spend an average of 3.17 minutes on the phone per 100 miles, compared with the 3.82 minutes in states that have no such laws. In drivers under eighteen years old, the average is 3.25 minutes.” Our society is consistently being overwhelmed by the news of deadly crashes, often due to cellphone related distractions.
Just this past March, about 75 miles from San Antonio, a deadly accident occurred when a pickup truck collided with a small church bus, leaving thirteen dead. The identified driver, 20-year-old Jack D. Young told witness Jody Kuchler that he had been texting when he hit the bus. The witness had alerted the authorities before the crash and reported to the Associate Press (AP) that Young was driving “so erratically”, but the authorities did not get to the scene in time. Kuchler told the AP that Young was repeatedly apologizing, but in this situation “sorry is just not enough”. The accident could have been easily prevented if the driver was paying attention to the road, instead of his cellphone.
There is still hope however, while anti-cellphone regulations have merely made a dent, CMT believe they can help people become better drivers with the use of their smartphones. The company developed an application, and its purpose is to modify driving behavior by gathering data and providing drivers with continuous feedback. The company reported that the app has helped reduce phone distraction by forty percent after just two months. Is the ban of phones unrealistic in our day in age? Perhaps, CMT has a newfound way for the future of driving. Every time you leave your house you are responsible for the safety of not only yourself, but others as well. The message can wait.
If you or someone you know has been injured in an accident with a distracted driver, contact an attorney at Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner by calling (713) 222-7211 or toll free at 713-222-7211.