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Cell Phone Use and Accidents

After doing some quick research I found that cell phone use while driving does result in an increase in accidents. More surprisingly, I found that 26 state reports lack fields to capture texting and 32 states lack fields to record hands-free cell phone use (National Safety Council, 2019). The NSC has a very detailed report about how all 50 states lack the reporting of vehicle accidents based on electronic devices. Therefore, accidents caused by cell phone usage is extremely inaccurate.

I did find a statistic and chart that supports a positive correlation between cell phone use and the number of vehicle accidents. “An estimated 40,000 people died in car crashes in 2016. That marks a 6% increase over 2015 and a 14% increase over 2014 – the most dramatic two-year escalation since 1964” (National Safety Council, 2019). I have included a chart provided by the NSC which shows the different types of recorded vehicle crashes. The red bars in the chart show how many crashes were caused by distractions. You’ll see that the red bars are the dominant reasons why crashes occur in most states.

In my opinion, it’s obvious to see that there is a positive correlation to cell phone usage and accidents. The facts don’t lie. I believe that is not the issue. The issue is what the NSC has mentioned and that is the reporting factor. The world needs to report this information across the board. For example, the chemical products we use have Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS). This information tells us all about the chemical from where it was created to how harmful it is to the environment. Recently the MSDS information has been updated globally and are now known as Safety Data Sheets (SDS). I’ve worked in manufacturing for over 20 years and have served on the safety committee. The SDS was created to use the same labeling system and documentation information on all chemicals worldwide so everyone would see the same type of information. This kind of system needs to be implemented into how we record vehicle crashes and all issues that we deal with in the world. Unfortunately, human beings psychologically are selfish by nature so getting the world to do this will take time and we can only hope to see a positive correlation for that to happen.

References: National Safety Council. (2019, January 17). National Safety Council. Retrieved from Police Reports Don't Capture the Real Reasons Drivers Crash: safety-topics/distracted-driving/underreported

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