New Data Regarding Cell phone Usage While Driving
Our Caring Car Accident Attorneys in Atlanta, Georgia Analyze New Data Regarding Cell phone Usage While Driving
There can be little debate that distracted drivers cause a large number of accidents annually. Along with speeding and failing to yield, distracted driving is often recognized as the third most dangerous behavior in which one can engage while driving. However, the latest statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHSTA) suggest that there was a significant decrease in the number of people openly using their cell phones while driving. The study, recognizes that there are shortcomings in acquiring the data used to conduct the study, but any decrease in cell phone usage is an important first step towards making our roads safer.
In June of 2017, the NHTSA released a summary of its findings relating to the study of cell phone and other electronic device use while driving. The study sought to obtain three data points relating to drivers distracted by electronic devices. The three data points are:
- Openly talking on a cell phone, i.e., holding it to one's ear while driving;
- Using a headset or talking on a Bluetooth device; and
- Openly manipulating a cellular or other electronic device.
The study showed that the frequency of cell phone use decreased from 3.8 percent to 3.3 percent from 2015 to 2016. Visible headset use remained constant at about 0.5 percent, and physical manipulation of a cellular device dropped from 2.2 percent to 2.1 percent during that same time frame. However, the NHSTA statisticians do not consider the latter reduction to be statistically significant. All tolled, the estimates suggest that six percent of all drivers use their devices while driving at any one given moment.
Anecdotally, there seem to be much more people on the road using their cell phones while driving. Therein lays the fundamental problem with the study. The data collected was the visible use of an electronic device during the day. Data collectors made observations from a fixed position during the daylight hours and looked into cars. Furthermore, the data represents the probability of the population that uses electronic devices while driving at any one given moment during the daylight hours. Irrespective of the study's shortfalls, it remains an important piece of information to show that many drivers on the road at any one time are not paying attention to the road. Not paying attention to the road translates into accidents causing death or serious injuries.
The study proved that some demographic differences in electronic device use while driving exist. Female drivers tend to use their cell phones more often than men while driving. The data demonstrate that women use their devices 3.8 percent of the time compared to men who use their devices 3.0 percent of the time. This data, has been consistent for the past ten years illustrating that females use their devices more frequently than men.
Demographic differences are easily observed among age groups. The NHTSA analyzed three distinct age groups for this study. Those age groups are:
- 25-69, and
- 70 or older.
As one might expect, younger drivers use their cellular devices more often than the two older groups. It is important to note that all age groups have reduced their cellular use while driving. However, in all three data point categories, the youngest drivers use the devices more often, use headsets or Bluetooth devices more frequently, and text more often than the other two age groups.
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