Driving under the influence isn’t only for drunk drivers anymore. There is a new dangerous killer in town: driving under the influence of phone use. For Distracted Driving Awareness Month, we’re taking a look at many of the distractions that make our roads unsafe. If there’s any doubt in your mind about how dangerous using your phone while driving is, we’re here to clear it up.
The New Drunk Drivers
It may sound like an exaggeration, but it’s not. Drivers who use their phones on the road are the new drunk drivers. We’ve all been educated on the dangers of driving under the influence of alcohol, but that’s not the only killer that clogs our roads with serious accidents.
According to Zendrive, a company dedicated to making our roads safer through data and analytics:
- In 2018, 6,227 pedestrians were killed by drivers who were most likely on their phones
- There has been a 10% increase in distracted drivers just this year alone
We’re becoming more addicted, more reliant, and more dangerous because of our phones. It’s not news to anyone that using your phone while driving is dangerous. We’re surrounded by reminders of how deadly texting and driving can be. Why isn’t it changing how we drive?
Phone Addiction Kills
We can’t pull our eyes away from our screens, even when we know that our life, or the lives of others, is on the line. There’s no better explanation.
We know that it can wait. We know that the world isn’t going to crumble around us if we take an extra 5 minutes to text a friend or call a family member. Yet, hundreds of thousands of drivers ignore their common sense every day.
What do we know about phone addicts and how they’re affecting us all?
- Phone addicts spend 3 times more of their driving time on their phones
- Smartphone addicts are actively ignoring the road up to 28% of the time they’re driving
- Phone addicts spend more time on the road than the average person
It’s no wonder that we’re losing more lives to distracted driving every year.
Drunk Driving vs. Smartphone Driving
Is using your phone while driving really worse than drunk driving? Are they even comparable? The answer is yes. There have been numerous studies conducted that show that drivers using their phones exhibit the same or greater impairment as drunk drivers.
Even worse, drivers under the influence of phone use are on the roads much longer than drunk drivers.
- The highest number of drunk drivers are on the road between 12am and 3am
- Drivers on their phones are on the road all day, with peak times between 7am and 6pm
There are many, many more distracted drivers on the road than there are drunk drivers. Those distracted drivers are on the roads for much longer than drunk drivers. Suddenly, saying that drivers on their phones are more dangerous than drunk drivers is a lot less surprising.
It can, and should, wait.