Although drivers across the United States know how deadly distracted driving is, you will almost always see one or two drivers checking their phones while operating a vehicle. If anecdotal evidence is not your cup of tea, on average, nine people die every day to distracted driving in the United States alone. Additionally, another 1000 people are injured as a result of distracted driving. To make matters worse, many officials believe the actual number of distracted driving caused collisions are greater than the reported values as negligent drivers are often reluctant to admit cell phone use while driving.
California distracted driving, by the numbers
So how can we curb this deadly habit of cell phone use while driving? Some people believe that public policy and stricter law enforcement may be the way to reduce distracted driving accidents and fatalities. In 2011, California recorded 476,105 cell phone related citations versus in 2015, when traffic officers handed out 269,230 citations. While these numbers may seem to show a decrease in cell phone use, many say that law enforcement has been lax on cracking down. Additionally, many concerned citizens look to the difference in fines between distracted driving and other automotive fines. Illegally occupying a carpool lane is significantly more expensive than getting caught using your cell phone yet distracted driving is dangerous to the driver and everyone else in the vicinity of the offender. Regardless of the legislative solution, everybody needs to do their part in not diverting valuable focus and attention with a phone while driving.