Distracted driving has been an issue since the introduction of the smartphone. The availability of a variety of content at high speeds is becoming an increasingly dangerous luxury, as people continue to indulge while behind the wheel.
Despite countless efforts by automotive and technological manufactures or law enforcement to squelch the dangers of distraction, a comparison of older and recent data is pointing towards a disappointing conclusion: they aren’t working. More people are being seriously injured by distracted drivers every year.
In 2015, it was revealed by the National Highway Traffic Administration (NHTA) that a whopping 391,000 people were seriously injured in accidents caused by distracted driving. The Department of Motor Vehicles’ (DMV) website states that of all the fatal accidents of that year, 10 percent of those fatalities involved distracted driving; totaling to 3,477 deaths.
In comparison, the California Highway Patrol (CHP) relayed on their website that 421,000 people were seriously injured nationwide by drivers who were distracted last year. While the number of deaths dropped down to 3,450, the number of total accidents increased significantly. This means more people are becoming distracted drivers, regardless of changes in law and the punishments following.
Victoria Corsetti, an art student in San Francisco, says that she’s “not at all surprised.” She adds solemnly, “On my way to work, I see people on their phones constantly. It makes me so scared for the people in front of them, or pedestrians they don’t see when they look down.”
“I think a lot of [distracted driving] comes from a person’s belief that they can multitask,” says a concerned student here at California State University, Monterey Bay (CSUMB). “No matter what science has to say about it.”
Jillian Rose, a waitress and bartender, says her method of combating distracted driving is being the “designated texter.” She declares, “No one is allowed to text and drive while I’m a passenger. Or use Google maps for that matter. When my life is in their hands, their phone is in mine.”