Distracted Drivers

— Who's more lethal?

I get really angry when I see someone on their phone driving.

‘Why are they putting the lives of so many people in danger?’

Looking at 2015 to 2016 data, there was an uptick in the number of fatalities. The increase in the deaths in auto accidents was caused by lack of seatbelt use, speeding and drunk driving. Deaths attributed to drunk driving are a fraction of speeding. Far less people died from distracted driving.

Like most people, I regularly speed 5 or 10 over the limit to keep with the pace of traffic. Such behavior contributes far more to deaths than drunk driving. It’s deadlier to speed than to drunk drive.

So why are drunk drivers stigmatized? Culturally, drunk people are less reliable, less dependable. But people who speed? They’re just trying to get to places faster, they’re ‘more efficient’.

“’It’s not just talking on the phone that’s a problem today,’ said Jonathan Adkins, executive director of the Governors Highway Safety Association. ‘You now have all these other apps that people can use on their phones.’” - nytimes

On the road smartphone users are stigmatized differently. They’re frivolous, not conducting business with their phones, but socializing, texting, ‘using apps’.

How easy it is to believe that distracted users are the problem. I never bothered to check the facts myself.

Of the drivers I’ve encountered on the road distracted, they’re moving real slow. I’ve heard of deadly cases where they swerve without looking, but of the ones I’ve come across, they’re on their phone, driving below the speed limit.

How did I get into the habit of pointing fingers?

journal

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