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About 70% of licensed drivers used a mobile device while driving for personal reasons in the past three months, according to the results of a recently released survey, as the United States saw more than 3,100 deaths linked to distracted driving in 2020.
Urban and suburban drivers were more likely to have used their mobile phone than rural drivers for all reasons studied.
The survey of nearly 2,000 licensed drivers in the United States was conducted by market research and advisory firm The Harris Poll on behalf of Selective Insurance and Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety. Road deaths have soared in recent years, with 38,824 recorded deaths in 2020 alone, the highest total since 2007.
A fifth of these deaths were among pedestrians, cyclists and other non-vehicle occupants. This share is on the rise; in 2011, that figure was closer to one in six.
“Distracted driving has become a scourge on our roads,” Cathy Chase, president of Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, said in a statement. declaration. The organization urges states to enact laws prohibiting the use of devices while driving, texting, the use of hand-held devices, and all device use by young drivers.
According to Governors Highway Safety Association, 24 states and Washington, DC ban the use of cell phones, while 48 states and the district ban texting while driving. No state completely bans cell phone use for all drivers.
The GHSA said this week that it will publish a report this summer, examining the challenges of distracted driving and identifying steps states can take to address them. With funding from General Motors, the GHSA will also provide competitive grants to state traffic safety offices to help them implement the recommended actions.
“This unique collaboration will shine a light on this issue and help advance one of the core principles set out in the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Safety Strategy,” GHSA Executive Director Jonathan Adkins said in a statement. Press.
The Harris Poll found that mobile phone use was even higher among drivers whose jobs include driving responsibilities: 86% of these drivers were talking, texting, checking social media, using video functions , take a photo, review documents or use email.
Mobile device use was highest among the 18-34 and 35-44 age groups in the survey. Nearly half of those aged 18 to 34 say they know someone affected or have personally been involved in an accident involving a driver using a mobile device.
Chase said Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety also wants the U.S. Department of Transportation to require advanced driver assistance systems in all new vehicles, including automatic emergency braking with pedestrian and cyclist detection. “Technology that detects an impending collision, warns the driver and applies the brakes if necessary, has the potential to prevent distraction-related crashes as well as those involving impaired driving and drowsiness, and speeding,” she said.