New Survey Shows That One Demographic Believes Texting While Driving Is Permissible
According to a recent survey, 46 percent of drivers aged 25-34 believe that texting and driving should be permitted. The next oldest demographic is also lax when it comes to texting and driving. The survey shows that 22.7 percent of drivers ranging in ages from 35 to 44 believe there is no issue with texting and driving. Fortunately, the youngest drivers, as a group, do not approve of texting while driving. However, it is alarming that the attitudes of drivers who are 25 to 44 years old are ignoring the proven danger of the practice.
A separate survey revealed that 92 percent of all drivers used their cell phones while driving at least once within the last 30 days. The study defined cell phone usage as either talking or texting. The study did not examine the number of crashes related to cell phone distractions while driving.
One study conducted within the past two years measured the frequency of cell phone usage in car crashes. The National Safety Council determined that the use of cell phones is becoming more prevalent in motor vehicle crashes annually. As recently as 2015, the National Safety Council determined that 27 percent of all motor vehicle crashes involve cell phone usage of some kind. The study included hands-free cell phone usage, talking on the phone, and texting while driving. Texting-related crashes contribute to 5 or 6 percent of all car crashes annually while talking on the phone causes 21 percent of motor vehicle accidents. The National Safety Council's data shows that people who text and drive increase their crash risk eight-fold. The data also proves that talking on a cell phone, whether with or without a hands-free device, increases the driver's risk of crashing by four times as compared to not driving while distracted.
The state of Georgia experienced the carnage using a cell phone while driving could cause, as motor vehicle crash fatalities rose by 33% over the last two years in Georgia. Authorities attribute the spike in deaths to distracted driving caused by cell phone use. To combat the problem, Georgia legislators introduced a bill to require hands-free cell phone use while driving. The measure did not pass the General Assembly in 2017 but did pass in the House by a unanimous vote. The bill might be revived at some time or amended, but as of right now, Georgia is one of the few remaining states that do not require hands-free cell usage.
Other states are treating driving while texting like a drunken driving offense. They are similar in a particular respect. Driving under the influence of alcohol or a drug reduces one's capacity to drive safely by slowing reaction times and cognitive function, as well as lose hand to eye coordination. The same applies to a distracted driver. Drivers looking at their cell phones are not focusing on the road because their focus is divided between driving and manipulating the electronic device. To combat the problem, legislators in the state of New York are considering using a machine called "Cellbrite" to look at a person's phone after a crash to determine whether the person was texting at the time of the crash in the same manner investigators would use a breathalyzer to investigate a person suspected of drunk driving. The proposed legislation would not criminalize a person's refusal to allow police to use Cellbrite but the driver's license could be suspended. The measure has not passed but it a creative approach to reducing cell phone use in cars.
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