OLYMPIA, Wash. -- During the morning rush hour on Dec. 5, the 53-year-old driver of a blue Dodge Caravan was traveling north on Interstate 5 outside Seattle when he took his eyes off the road to scan an email on his BlackBerry, the State Patrol says. And that’s how he hit the white Mazda, which clipped the green Honda, which rammed the black Toyota SUV before spinning into the other lane and plowing into a city bus.
Text Messaging and Driving Safety: When is it the Wrong Message?
Cell Phone Statistics:
- 974,000 vehicles on the road at any given daylight moment being driven by someone on a hand-held phone (NHTSA)
- Over 236 million people subscribe to wireless communication devices(Insurance Information Institute)
- Cell phone use accounts for 2,600 vehicle fatalities and 300,000 collisions annually.
That’s fine when you’re not driving, but it’s a big concern when you are driving.
Let’s look at some of the numbers/statistics:
- Risk of collision increased by up to 400% when talking on a cell phone while driving
- Nearly 80% of collisions involve some form of driver inattentiono(distraction, fatigue or looking away)
- In one study of 100 drivers, cell phones were associated with theohighest frequency of distraction-related events for crashes and near-crashes
- Another study, done with driving simulators, found that when talking on a cell phone:Young drivers’ response times to brake lights ahead were asslow as those by elderly drivers
- Drivers of all ages were 9% slower in hitting their brakes when needed
- Crash rates were more than 5 times greater than for undistracted drivers.