Deaths from traffic accident in the United States have been dropping steadily over the past 40 years, until the last 2 years. Recently, the number of fatalities has increased, and both the government safety authorities and the insurance industry point the finger to one cause: distracted driving from cellphone use while driving.
While these statistics are from the USA, the same problem is happening in Brazil. More people are dying in traffic because they should be watching the road, but they divert their attention long enough that a tragedy occurs.
The safety experts note that the problem has become worse over the last few years. Many people have switched from making calls, to sending and reading texts while driving, which is much more dangerous than simply talking on the phone.
Distracted driving research shows
- Talking on a cellphone while driving doubles your risk of having an accident (about the same risk as driving while drunk)
- Texting while driving increases the risk of an accident by eight times (some research has shown up to a 23 times greater risk)
Texting while driving is so dangerous because it combines all three main types of distractions:
- Manual distraction (you use your hands on the phone)
- Visual distraction (you focus your eyes away from the road)
- Cognitive distraction (your mind wanders; you try to multitask)
Even worse is making videos while driving (Snapchat and Instagram). Some fatal accidents have occurred by people recording videos while adding the speed filter on the video. The video survived, but those in the car did not.
Younger drivers especially at risk
Safety experts say that especially at risk are younger drivers, who are less experienced, and who overestimate their ability to multi-task.
Distracted drivers put you at risk
Not only are distracted drivers putting themselves at risk, but they are raising your risk of dying on the road, and the risk of your children and family as well.
While car manufacturers are working on hands-free “solutions”, safety experts are not sure these are helpful. Car manufacturers are adding more and more gadgetry, and even if this allows you to do more “hands free”, you still are most distracted from your main job of driving safely.
Deboarh Hersman, president of the National Safety Coucil (USA) says “It’s the workload on the brain that’s the problem”. Even with hands free options, people using devices are putting all of us at increased risk. Distracted driving is a serious public health concern, and the technological issues are not resolved, but we know what we can do as individuals to help.
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Esta postagem também está disponível em: Portuguese (Brazil)