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The relationship between cell phone usage and car crashes

The National Safety Council reports that the dangerous activity of driving while using a cell phone causes 6 million traffic accidents each year.

Many drivers use their cell phones for sending and receiving text messages, which provides plenty of time for a devastating vehicle crash to occur.

A national addiction

Hawaii was the 40th state to pass a ban on texting while driving. The law became effective in 2013. In 2017, Honolulu became the first city in the country to ban texting on or reading from a handheld device while using a crosswalk. Clearly, Hawaii is on board with the irresponsible and often dangerous use of cell phones, but in our age of rapidly developing technology, cell phone use has become a national addiction whether sitting safely at home, walking around town or driving anywhere at all. The Office of Traffic Safety cites the love affair Americans have with cell phone use in reporting that at any given moment, 660,000 people are using these devices while driving.

More likely to cause an accident

Many studies, including research from King’s College, show that drivers who text are six times more likely to cause a vehicle accident than drivers who are alcohol-impaired. The average time it takes to type out a message is five seconds, but studies show that the maximum amount of time a driver has to safely direct his or her attention away from the road before potentially causing an accident is just two seconds.

Other distractions

Cell phone use, although dangerous, is not the only form of distraction for motorists. Our beautiful state of Hawaii abounds with interesting vistas capable of capturing the attention of drivers. However, distractions also include activities such as applying makeup, shaving, interacting with pets or passengers, reaching for something dropped on the floor or even reading a book while driving. Still, technology often plays a major role in a crash, and the old admonition “drive defensively” is good advice given the addiction today’s drivers have to cell phone usage.

 

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