On the road, distractions take many different forms. However, smartphone use while driving causes many distracted driving collisions. Using a phone behind the wheel can cause a driver to lose their mental focus, take their hands off the wheel and their eyes off the road.
Even though many people understand the dangers associated with phone use while driving, people continue to become distracted by their devices.
How can smartphones cause a car crash?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention covers some of the different ways in which smartphones can result in a traffic collision. For example, sending an email, texting or talking on the phone can cause a driver to lose focus and collide with another vehicle.
Smartphones can also distract drivers in many other ways. For example, a driver could try to play a game behind the wheel, watch a video, play music or use various apps (including an app that helps with navigation).
How often do teens use smartphones while driving?
Drivers of various age groups use their phones while operating a motor vehicle, but this behavior is particularly concerning among younger drivers. Out of all deadly traffic crashes in 2019, more drivers between 15 and 20 became distracted than drivers over 21.
Moreover, a 2019 survey found that older teens sent texts or emails behind the wheel more frequently than younger teens. This survey found that in the last 30 days, 16% of 14-year-old and 15-year-old drivers sent texts or emails behind the wheel, compared to 51% of 17-year-olds and 60% of teens over 18.