News: Increasing Road Deaths Due to Smartphone Use Make the Case for Driverless Vehicles

Increasing Road Deaths Due to Smartphone Use Make the Case for Driverless Vehicles

You would think most people would agree that you shouldn't use your smartphone while driving. Apparently, most people would be liars, according to recent data from the National Safety Council (NSC) and Zendrive.

As PhoneArena reports, the NSC recently published data saying that there has been an increase in traffic deaths by 2,500 each year since 2015. If that isn't shocking enough, there were 40,200 total deaths in 2016.

When these statistics are paired with a study by Zendrive, the overall picture is frightening. According to Zendrive, whose study tracked 3.1 million drivers over 570 million trips, 88% of drivers used their smartphones at least once while driving. On its own, that might not sound terrible. That is, until you consider that just two seconds of phone use while driving increases your chances of getting into an accident 20 times.

It's worth noting that Zendrive did not differentiate phone use at different points during driving, meaning someone using their phone while actively driving would be counted the same as someone checking Facebook at a stoplight. Regardless, the statistics are harsh and reflect the importance of the rapidly approaching driverless cars.

While states with laws against phone use when driving had lower counts of distracted driving and deaths, the fact remains that people continuously multitask while behind the wheel. Perhaps humans just aren't very good at staying focused on one thing, or letting go of the classic idea of "it will never happen to me." But according to the data, the chances it will happen to you are rising.

Maybe driving is something we should leave up to the machines, considering they're already driving better than we do.

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Cover image via Thue/Wikimedia Commons

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