Studies say that drivers using phones while driving are four times as likely to cause a crash. A Harvard study conducted in 2007 found that 2,700 fatal crashes a year and 570,000 crashes of varying injury level per year are caused by mobile phone use while driving. And that was seven years ago when adoption of these devices was not as high as it is now. Furthermore, hands-free devices do not help because we are still distracted from our driving by the conversation.
We would think that common sense would keep our eyes on the road while driving. But, drivers largely ignore the research on the dangers – even those who have previously been in a crash or near crash caused by using a mobile phone while driving. Taking our eyes off the road to read an email or respond to a text is the equivalent of driving with our eyes closed. Consider that for a moment.
There is currently no national ban on texting while driving, but individual states have passed laws governing the use of mobile devices while driving. According to the FCC:
- 14 U.S. states and D.C., Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands prohibit all drivers from using hand-held mobile phones while driving. An officer may cite a driver without any other traffic offense occurring.
- 44 U.S. states and D.C., Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands ban text messaging for all drivers.
None of us are capable of driving with our eyes off of the road. No text, email or call is important enough to try.