According to a recent study by Everdrive (a driving safety app that tracks drivers’ road habits), drivers in the state of Mississippi are the most likely to be distracted by their phones while driving. Closely following Mississippi residents for bad driving behaviors related to phone use are Louisiana, Alabama, and Georgia. In Mississippi and the three closest states, drivers used their phones more than 40 percent of the time while behind the wheel.
Although Mississippi drivers may use their phones more than those in other states, drivers in the northeast were considered the least safe overall drivers when non-tech-related behaviors were assessed (hard braking and speeding, to name two). Mid-westerners were considered the safest drivers.
Does Regulation of Cell Phone Use Help?
States that more closely regulate phone use for drivers appear to have improved road safety. Those states where drivers are least likely to use their cell phone while driving—due, at least in part, to the ban on all handheld devices for drivers—are Washington State, Hawaii, Oregon, and Vermont.
Distracted Driving Responsible for More and More Driving Collisions
In 2015, the NHTSA found that distracted driving was responsible for at least 3,477 fatalities and 391,000 injuries. Although these numbers are alarming, in fact, they likely underestimate the actual amount of distracted driving which takes place on a daily basis. Tech companies continue to work on safe driving technologies such as iPhone’s latest update which includes a “do not disturb while driving” mode. This app automatically disables any incoming notifications when it is detected that the owner of the phone is driving.
Different Study Finds Texting and Driving Bans Are Not as Effective as We Think
Another state-by-state study found that despite bans on texting and driving, drivers continue to use their phones while driving. Despite the number of traffic fatalities that are directly tied to phone usage while driving, Americans appear to be getting even worse at cell phone distractions, even scrolling through social media—like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter—while driving. In particular, younger drivers who practically grew up with a cell phone in their hands find it very difficult to put their phone away—even while driving.
Zendrive Says Two Out of Three Drivers Use Their Cell Phones While Driving
Zendrive technology monitored 4.5 million drivers traveling 7.1 billion miles. The results of this monitoring were compared with the same monitoring from a year ago, finding two out of three of these drivers used their cell phone at least once while they were behind the wheel, and that among those who did use their phones, they used it for an average of four minutes. This four-minute is a 5 percent increase from the same period of time (December through February) in 2017. Even a few seconds is a significant length of time for a driver to have his or her eyes away from the road and on their phone—after all, your vehicle can travel the length of a football field in five seconds if you are driving 55 mph.
Mississippi Drivers Spend Eight Percent of Their Time Behind the Wheel on the Phone
Zendrive found Mississippi and Rhode Island the worst states for distracted drivers, with drivers who participated in the study spending a whopping 8 percent of their time on the phone while behind the wheel. The study also found that phone use while driving peaks at 4 p.m., when nearly three out of four drivers are looking at their phones while simultaneously attempting to navigate rush-hour traffic. Drivers who are on the road at midnight tend to make longer phone calls than those using their phones at other times of the day and night. Interestingly, those with iPhones tend to use their phones while driving more than those with Android phones.
Distracted Driving in Mississippi at An All-Time High
Overall, according to msnewsnow.com, while those in Mississippi use their cell phones more while driving than drivers in any other state, drivers across the Southeast are much more likely to use their cell phones while driving than others in the U.S. Further, distracted drivers in Mississippi are more likely to have an accident due to their distractions than for any other reason. According to Life360, Mississippi drivers use their phones while driving an average of 2.56 times per drive, while the national average is 1.78 times per drive. NCBI studied those who texted while driving, finding this single behavior a major risk factor in motor vehicle collisions, and the resulting deaths and injuries from those collisions.
Young Drivers Most Likely to Text While Driving
Although there are many distractions drivers may engage in while behind the wheel, cell phone use is certainly the most common. Studies that use simulations found that drivers who view information on their cell phones have a significantly higher risk of collision—or near-collision—events. Despite the well-documented dangers, however, texting and driving are widespread. Nearly a third of drivers in the United States between the ages of 18 and 64 admit to reading or sending text messages while driving within the past 30 days. Among younger drivers, that number is even higher, with a full 50 percent of young drivers reporting they had sent or received a text while driving within the past 30 days.
Six Out of Ten American Drivers Use Their Cell Phone While Driving?
When taken as a whole, these studies are very alarming—while the NHTSA estimates about 660,000 American drivers take their eyes off the road to use their phone each day, Zendrive places that number at closer to 69 million—meaning six out of ten American drivers use their phone while driving each and every day. Although some studies seem to show that stricter laws regarding phone for drivers has been effective, other studies show stricter laws do little to actually curb the use of cell phone by drivers.
Civil Lawsuits Filed Against Distracted Drivers
Drivers who are caught texting and driving—even in states which have strict laws against such behaviors—are unlikely to face criminal penalties because it can be difficult to conclusively prove cell phone use. Civil courts, however, have a lowered standard regarding the burden of proof, therefore many of those who have been injured due to another driver using a cell phone is choosing to pursue lawsuits against the distracted driver in civil court.
Contact Our Jackson Car Accident Lawyers
If you or someone you love is injured in a car accident in Jackson, Hattiesburg, Meridian, or anywhere in the State of Mississippi, you need to fight for your rights to compensation. The best way to do this is to hire an experienced Jackson car accident attorney immediately.
At Coxwell & Associates, PLLC, our attorneys believe in fighting aggressively for our clients, to ensure that they have the money they need to put their lives back together again. Contact Coxwell & Associates today at (601) 265-7766 or (601) 265-7766.
Disclaimer: This blog is intended for general information purposes only, and is not a substitute for legal advice. Anyone with a legal problem should consult a lawyer immediately.