2 February 2013

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 February 2, 2013
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smartphone drivingA recent study from McKinsey & Company released troubling data regarding smartphone users.

According to this study, approximately 35 percent of smartphone owners admitted to using their phones while they were driving. McKinsey & Company is a consulting firm that works with businesses, governments and other institutions. The study was based off of data collected from approximately 2,000 drivers who owned smartphones. Participants answered a survey with specific questions in June 2012.

The owners of smartphones reported different reasons for using their phones while driving:

  • 89 percent of the individuals who admitted to the use of the phone while driving said that they take voice calls.
  • 68 percent said that they used it for navigation.
  • 39 percent admitted to text messaging.
  • 31 percent claimed that they used the phone for social media and surfing the Internet.

The study also found that younger people were more likely to want to be connected than other drivers. 55 percent of 18 to 39-year olds thought that having access to data was important, compared to 27 of drivers in the 40 to 69-year old group. The younger drivers also communicated a belief that travels time to school and work would increase in the next decade.

However, with younger drivers being more likely to use phones while driving, more time on the road may lead to disastrous results, especially considering that automotive crashes are the number one cause of death for 16 to 19 year olds. A quick call or look at a text or email can be all that it takes to cause a dangerous accident.

Some companies are taking the initiative to attempt to curb dangerous teen driving and create a positive, competitive atmosphere. For example, Cartasite, a company based in Colorado that manufacturers a small black box for vehicles to detect dangerous and distracted driving patterns, is supporting a scholarship competition. Young drivers who win the year-long competition will be eligible for scholarships of $15,000 to $25,000.

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