Research done by the Korean Traffic Climate and Environment Research Center shows that the amount of accidents that have happened in the capitol of South Korea Seoul that have been caused by drivers looking or using their smartphone has doubled. The last research done about this in the US was back in 2011 by GHSA who claims that over 15% and 25% of car accidents in 2011 are caused by distracted drivers using smartphones, with over 660.000 drivers using electronics while driving it is no surprise that they “expect these numbers to rise over the upcoming years”. After doing some research, the estimated amount of fatal accidents caused by smartphones is over the 4.500 in the US in 2013 alone, it maybe isn’t as huge of a change compared to Korea, but it still is a 30% increase compared to previous years (this counts for both people driving cars and pedestrians distracted by smartphones)
Smartphones allow us to communicate with our friends, colleagues and family through SMS, IM apps like Whatsapp and social networks like Facebook etc. but the constant looking at the phone can be a real danger while driving. The main cause of accidents are because of the following reasons:
- people changing the song currently playing
- Answering Messages
- Browsing the Internet
It is not just while driving, the most victims are pedestrians, over 59% of accidents involving pedestrians distracted by smartphones occurred between 10 am and 6 pm while 39%of the accidents involving distracted drivers took place between 6 pm and 12pm. After analyzing over 5.000 drivers in Seoul the capitol of South Korea, research has shown that the most distracted drivers are at the age of 20.
With over 1.5 billion smartphones in the world and the continues growth of wearable technology we expect these numbers to only rise. The state of Illinois has decided to ban Google Glass while driving for the same reason, technology can help us but can also become dangerous when used at the wrong moment. Our advice? Don’t use your smartphone while driving.