By the numbers: Mobile multi-tasking makes a mess behind the wheel

J. Davis, Staff Writer, Columnist

There were 34,439 fatal motor vehicle crashes in the United States in 2016 in which 37,461 deaths occurred. But somehow, more than 21 million people in the U.S. are still afraid to fly.

Roads in America can be dangerous. Add to the mix distractions that come with using mobile devices behind the wheel, and you have a recipe for disaster.

Car crashes are the number one cause of death in the US for good reason. Many people in the country have cell phones, which means they are likely to be distracted by it while driving. Examples of  cell phone related crashes are as follows: Merging into a lane and sideswiping a Mitsubishi Eclipse. Running a red light and t-boning a Honda Civic. Rear ending a Ford Explorer at 37 MPH.

Those car crashes are more likely to happen while drivers are on the phone.

The National Safety Council reports:

    • That cell phone use while driving leads to 1.6 million crashes each year.
    • Nearly 390,000 injuries occur each year from accidents caused by texting while driving.
    • 1 out of every 4 car accidents in the United States is caused by texting and driving.

With all of those facts stated, law enforcement agencies around the nation have been adding and changing laws that help enforce no texting and driving.

One good thing about these crashes is that many cars are incorporating Apple CarPlay and Android Auto into many newer cars as an option to help prevent these crashes.  As a result, many newer cars are less likely to be in a cell phone related crash due to the increase of technology in cars.

The following states enforce the texting/driving law: Delaware, Connecticut, California, DC, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey,  Washington, West Virginia, Oregon, Rhode Island, and New York.

As you can see 9/15 states are along the East Coast. That means, the East Coast of the U.S. does NOT  allow texting and driving.

But even with fines, and arrests, many people just can’t resist the urge of their phones while driving.  

One person, who wishes to remain anonymous, says quote: “I’ve been in one car crash in total. It was when I was 9 years old. My mom was texting her hair stylist while it was a little wet, and lost control while I was in the front seat. We were not injured, but she promised to never do it again. She has done an amazing job at keeping her promise.”