Driving Under the Influence of Technology

We are all guilty of doing it. It’s just a little text. Check the score of your favorite sports team. Respond to a post on your Facebook wall with a witty retort. All of these occur when someone is behind the wheel on a daily basis. We all just assume it’s a harmless thing to do.

Well, based on some studies conducted by Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), this is not the case. The study attributes about on fourth of the car accidents in the US to drivers distracted by their gadgets and cell phones. The study says that recent surveys show that about two-thirds of all drivers report using a cell phone while driving; about one third use a cell phone routinely from behind the wheel.

Logic dictates that texting would be more dangerous than using a cell to make a call while driving.  The 350 scientific papers published since 2000 all say pretty much the same thing if you doubt the obvious.

States have tried to do their best to crack down and make their roads safer. When their laws first came out, they made a significant dent in the number of commuters who used their cells. Years later, due to a lack of enforcement or utter disregard, the problem has once again elevated. Many states have only prohibited texting or cell phone use by novice drivers.

Fact is, if you would prefer not to spend hours dealing with body shops, insurance companies, and possible hospital bills…or maybe worse- wait to text your friend, ‘I’ll see u at 9’. No matter how much skill you have in doing so or how quick you think it will be, split seconds have been known to change lives. Before writing this, I almost rear-ended someone at a stoplight yesterday because I misjudged the time/distance and cannot text on my iphone well with one hand. I will not be repeating this mistake and am glad for the wakeup(/close) call.