If you were to ask the average person why they carry a mobile phone, they may cite convenience or personal safety. People now feel quite strongly about having instant access to emergency services and family members in the event of a health issue or similar emergency.
When you consider car crashes, mobile phones may make people feel safer but may actually put them at increased risk. How do mobile devices improve safety, and how do they detract from it?
They caused thousands of crashes annually
There is little question that the increased use of screens in vehicles has compromised driver and passenger safety. The distraction caused by mobile devices is now one of the top causes of preventable traffic deaths in the United States.
Some people simply cannot ignore their phones. They may feel addicted to the dopamine that they received when they get a notification from social media or a match on a dating app. They might try texting at stop lights or using talk-to text software to reduce their distraction unsuccessfully.
Drivers who are unable to ignore their devices and put them down until they safely reach their destination causes thousands of preventable collisions every year.
They help contact emergency services and document collisions
If you had to leave the scene of a crash to seek out medical support, you could compromise your legal rights and worsen your injury. Waiting for someone to show up to call for emergency services could be the difference between someone fully recovering from their injuries and suffering permanent consequences. Having a phone with you will ensure that you get support quickly after a crash.
If you are physically able to do so, you can also use your phone to document the condition of your vehicles and their placement on the road, which can help you with insurance claims and civil lawsuits after the collision.
Overall, phones both helped save lives after car crashes and also contribute to causing them. You can reduce your personal risk on the road by turning your phone off and committing to never texting while driving. Identifying and trying to limit the biggest causes of modern car crashes can protect you out on the road.