Safety

Consumer Report Battles the Issue of Distracted Driving

The marriage of automobiles and smartphones continues to be an unhappy one, with statistics of American traffic deaths continuing to rise and many experts pointing to distracted driving as the primary culprit.

A national survey from Consumer Reports in October 2017 found 41 percent of drivers with smartphones admitted to using their hands to text while driving. Despite continued public education campaigns and outreach across the country, 3,450 people were killed in 2016 because of distracted driving, and 21,000 crashes resulting in injuries in 2015 were connected to cellphone use.

Despite the dangers of distracted driving, consumer demands continue to push automakers toward greater connectivity at all times. Extensive dashboard platforms and high-speed internet connections keep drivers looped in at all times, but increase the risks of distracted driving.

Independent organizations, carriers and even smartphone developers are attempting to combat these issues with apps and programs that minimize cellphone use or notifications while on the road, but these options are still voluntary. Drivers must be willing to give up their addiction to reap the benefits of prevention apps.

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