Having a cell phone is no longer a luxury. Whether your smartphone replaced your home phone, or you use it for browsing the internet more than your computer, it is hard to get by in today’s world without one. Unfortunately, for some people, smartphones have crossed the line between necessity and obsession. People who cannot put their phones down for extended periods of time are more than just annoying; they are also dangerous and a leading cause of distracted driving.
Distracted driving behaviors are anything that takes a driver’s attention away from the road. This means that, every day, you probably encounter a significant number of distracted drivers. Even changing the radio and talking with a passenger can be distracting. These behaviors are problematic, but they are still not as serious as cell phone use behind the wheel.
Phone addiction is growing
Addictions come in all shapes and sizes. For some, phone addiction is a very real and serious problem that needs addressing. A study from the company Zendrive found that one out of every 12 drivers has a hardcore phone addiction. Zendrive predicts that, by 2022, the number will increase to one out of every five drivers.
In an interview, Zendrive’s CEO said that today’s society normalizes distracted driving. This is why you might not be surprised to pass a driver who engrossed in his or her phone. The problem extends far beyond texting, too.
Do phone addicts recognize their behaviors?
Texting is usually the focus of most distracted driving campaigns. However, this is a narrow view of how people are using cell phones while driving. Simply physically touching a phone, looking at the screen for any purpose and video chatting are all examples of troublesome behavior. While anyone might engage in these behaviors, phone addicts look at phone screens six times longer than the average driver. This means that an average phone addict’s eyes are off the road for approximately 28% of the time.
A different Zendrive study also looked at how phone addicts view their own behaviors. Of those categorized as addicted to phones, 93% said they were either safe or extremely safe drivers. Not only is distracted driving dangerous, but it is also a widespread problem that puts you and everyone else on the road at risk for serious injury.
The problem is only getting worse
Like most other people in Pennsylvania, you probably like your smart phone and use it often. While there is nothing wrong with using this technology safely, it becomes problematic when people inflate their own driving abilities. As the Zendrive study demonstrated, without serious societal changes, the number of distracted drivers is only going to go up.
A driver who is staring at his or phone for just a matter of seconds can travel hundreds of yards without looking. This means that the driver who hit you may not have been able to apply the brakes or take evasive action. This can greatly increase the severity of an accident as well as the resulting injuries. If this is the situation you are currently in, getting the right kind of compensation could help you focus on your recovery and address your damages. An experienced attorney should be able to explain your options for pursuing a personal injury suit after your distracted driving accident.