Smartphone use is driving traffic accident numbers and car insurance rates up, study claims


The number of traffic accidents in the U.S. is on the rise and auto-insurance rates steadily and proportionally increasing. The negative trend may be caused by the widespread and increasingly habitual use of smartphones behind the wheel, insurers claim.

According to a new study by major U.S. auto-insurer State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co., 36% of all people the company surveyed in 2015 admitted to texting behind the wheel, while 29% didn't hide that they have browsed the web while driving – an alarming increase over numbers from previous surveys. The overall number of smartphone owners taking part in State Farm's surveys has also increased substantially over the last years – from 52% in 2011, to 88% in 2015.

The connection between distracted drivers on the road, more widespread smartphone usage, and the rising numbers of traffic accidents is yet to become clear, but researchers claim that the scope of the problem may be broader than we expect, as many of the drivers involved in traffic accidents rarely admit to behind-the-wheel phone use.

However, there are many other factors that may be affecting the alarming trend. Lower gas prices and the U.S. economic recovery are putting more drivers and vehicles on the road every day, which in and of itself leads to more traffic accidents.

Do you think that there is a connection between the growing number of smartphone users and the rise in traffic accidents in the US over the last couple of years?
 
source: WSJ

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15 Comments

1. xondk

Posts: 1904; Member since: Mar 25, 2014

Distracting people while they are driving is bad?....well yes..

2. lyndon420

Posts: 6737; Member since: Jul 11, 2012

Would be interesting to see a broader scope of this study according to ratio: men/women, Android phone/iPhone, age, etc

4. sissy246

Posts: 7078; Member since: Mar 04, 2015

Doesn't really matter who it is or what phone it is, its dangerous. Teenagers or the worst, but all ages are guilty. And the honest drivers have to pay from the dumb azz people that do it.

12. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

https://www.trafficsafetystore.com/blog/who-causes-accidents/ This answers some. What phone they use is not relevant. What does matter is, females get into just as many accidents as men. I am willing to bet, more woman crash because of distracted driving vs men. I drive alot. I see most people now have dash mounted phones or have their phone sync'd with the stereo. Car dealers now, have put into practice, adding the drivers phone to the cars audio. My dealer wanted too, but I told him I always do it. My car audio supports calls and texts onscreen. Most times when I see woman, they are holding the phone while driving, whether its being used or not. Men tend to use earpieces more often. Woman don't. But I am only basing this on what I have observe. Example, Its a 20 mile drive from Downtown Chicago to O'Hare. There are 4 lanes each way and a 2 lane reversible express. I usually take express if possible. In this trip I may pass 50+ cars in the express. If I split the drivers 50/50, at least half of both men and woman have a phone within visibility range where I can see them using it. I've seen people use the phone with one hand, then take the other and mess with the radio. I grabs my phone mostly only to change music. I answer all calls and texts via the cars audio. When the car is above 5mph and I get a text, I cannot read it, I can only listen to the audio from it. Teens still have the most accidents do to less experience. Young adults like 20ish to 25ish have accidents more related to some type of drug usage. Old people crash because they are to slow to react, cant drive in bad weather and are on medication that they should never be using and drive too. Men crash mor etan woman because they take more risks and drive more miles. Woman takes mostly short trips...like shopping, pick up kids at school/babysitter. Men drive to work, men drive for work. Based on news articles, iPhone users do the most stupid things behind the wheel. Like a teenager using the SnapChat app, could have given the phone to the passenger to record the speed. Instead she held the iPhone and drove over 100mph and she crashed.

15. mikehunta727 unregistered

"Men crash mor etan woman because they take more risks and drive more miles. Woman takes mostly short trips...like shopping, pick up kids at school/babysitter. Men drive to work, men drive for work." Your a f**king idiot lmao you even suck at trolling. Sucks to write diatribes on PA all day and have everyone skim through them quickly. But I had to just call you out on this nonsense I can tell your Note 7 keyboard lags hard and doesn't keep up with your diatribes

3. Tipus

Posts: 850; Member since: Sep 30, 2016

No s**t Sherlock :D

5. fyah_king unregistered

I see these idiots texting while driving all the time. They drive so slow while creeping in your lane at the same time.

9. sissy246

Posts: 7078; Member since: Mar 04, 2015

Had that happen to me a few months ago. I was in the right lane in town and this stupid guy was in the left lane. He keeps crossing over in my lane and I couldn't get around him. Speed limit was 35 and he was doing like 20. Finally got up to a light and I looked over and he was texting.

6. Bernoulli

Posts: 4359; Member since: Sep 01, 2012

There's a place and time for everything. Unless you're getting road head, that's worth swirling a little

8. JesseJames

Posts: 226; Member since: Feb 22, 2015

LMAO!!!!! Comment of the day right here.

7. IronTech

Posts: 153; Member since: May 27, 2016

It's human's fault, not smartphone's.

10. antjones21

Posts: 20; Member since: Sep 28, 2016

If all cars came with Android Auto or Apple Car play as a standard it would help drive those numbers down. Voice texting is so much more safe as well as navigation. Tell the car companies to stop charging extra for these features.

11. darkkjedii

Posts: 30969; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

I see a ton of this recklessness everyday at work. All I can do is SMDH.

13. bigstrudel

Posts: 594; Member since: Aug 20, 2012

I think accidents are going up as immigration increases: Wouldn't be surprised if these numbers went down over the next 8 years. Simply taking a test at the DMV is NOT enough for folks coming from places with no modern infrastructure or places like India which have basically no road laws.

14. k9luvr

Posts: 122; Member since: Oct 17, 2016

I would like to see government start cracking down on this with some new laws. It is getting way out of hand now. I see it every day. The problem will not go away on its own. When a persons insurance triples or they get wages garnished or spend some time in the pokey they will finally wake up.

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