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Smartphones: Increasing Accidents and Raising Rates

Smartphones: Increasing Accidents and Raising Rates

Young woman looking at phone while driving | Smartphones: Increasing Accidents and Raising RatesSmartphones may make our lives easier – but they are also making them more dangerous. A new survey by State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company found that smartphones may be responsible for increasing accidents and raising rates. Their survey discovered that 36% of all people admitted to texting behind the wheel and 29% admitted to surfing the web while driving. This was an alarming increase from previous years’ surveys. There are also more smartphone users taking part in these surveys than ever before. In 2011, just 52% of drivers surveyed owned a smartphone. In 2015, that number had increased to 88%.

Car accident fatalities have actually increased for the first time in 40 years. For decades, automobile accidents have been on a steady decline. In the early 70s, car accident fatalities topped more than 50,000 every year. By 2010, car accident fatality numbers had dwindled to just 30,000. Automobile safety experts credit the decline in car crash deaths to a number of things, including:

-Vehicle safety improvements
-Crash test improvements
-Educational programs aimed at improving seatbelt use & drunk driving

In 2015, however, the number of people killed in automobile crashes jumped 7.2% – the largest increase in 50 years.

Why the sudden increase in car crashes? Safety experts point to numerous factors, including the fact that drivers are traveling more miles this year on longer commutes and road trips. Cheaper gas and lower unemployment means that more drivers are hitting the road and that adds up to more car accidents.

Further Reading: Finding a Repair Shop After an Accident

Yet, those are not the only factors. Smartphone use is on the rise. According to data from the Pew Research Center, nearly 64% of adults own smartphones. This is up from just 35% in the spring of 2011. Smartphone ownership is particularly high among younger Americans and those with higher income and education.

Smartphone users, in particular, are finding it harder and harder to turn off their phones and focus on the task of driving. Drivers are trying to multi-task while operating their vehicle and this is taking their attention off of the road and their hands off of the wheel. Surfing the Internet, texting friends, snapchatting, checking social media, and answering emails are just a few of the things drivers have confessed to doing on a regular basis when behind the wheel. In fact, 79% of all distracted-driving related crashes have been attributed to texting drivers.

According to research by AT&T, 70% of all smartphone users actually use their phone routinely while driving. 40% of all smartphone users confess to using their smartphone while driving to tap into social media. 30% routinely surf the Internet and 10% actually video chat with their friends and colleagues while they are driving. 1 in 7 drivers confess to using Twitter while they are driving and more than 25% confess to checking Facebook on a regular basis.

To combat this growing trend of using social media while driving, AT&T designed the It Can Wait campaign to help educate drivers that no text was worth a life.

Avoiding Devastating Distracted Driving Crashes

You can reduce the likelihood of getting into a serious and deadly distracted driving car crash by following a few simple rules when driving:

-Silence your phone while driving.
-Consider putting phone in airplane mode.
-Place phone out of reach, such as in a glove box or in the trunk.
-Tell friends and family members that you will not be answering text messages while driving.
-Plan to arrive at your destination a few minutes early to allow yourself time to check your messages, answer any important emails, and call back any missed calls.

In addition to putting your cellphone away, drivers are urged to follow all posted speed limit signs, wear seat belts at all times, avoid tailgating, drive slowly in inclement weather, and always drive sober.

Contact Our Experienced Broomfield Car Accident Injury Lawyers

Broomfield, CO Personal Injury Lawyers at Hull & Zimmerman, P.C.If you or someone you love has been injured in a distracted driving car accident in Broomfield, Northglenn, Westminster, Thornton, or anywhere in Colorado, it is important to contact our experienced car accident attorneys immediately. At Hull & Zimmerman, P.C., our committed personal injury lawyers are dedicated to the belief that everyone deserves justice. Contact us at (303) 423-1770 or (866) 385-3505.

Our personal injury lawyers have extensive experience representing injured accident victims in Broomfield, Arvada, Superior, Lafayette, Louisville, Erie, Brighton, Commerce City, Northglenn, Westminster, Thornton, Longmont, and throughout Colorado.

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At Hull & Zimmerman, P.C., we are honored to help accident victims in their time of need, and take our responsibility as personal injury lawyers incredibly seriously. We know how important it is for victims to secure the full and fair compensation they need following a serious accident, and that is why we take a hands-on, personalized approach to every case we handle.

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