There's new data coming in and numbers don't lie.
Here's something to think about: over the past two years US traffic fatalities increased by 14.4 percent following decades of decline. For example, in 2016, more than 100 people were killed every day in car related accidents. This is all happening despite cars, trucks, and SUVs being safer than ever, thanks to strict US regulations. Are people driving longer distances? Not really. Are vehicle passengers the ones being killed? Not always.
Bloomberg reports that experts are narrowing down the culprit for this disturbing trend and, based on evidence, interviews and general common sense, smartphones are the cause. More Americans than ever own smartphones and they're being distracted by them while driving. Texting. Twitter. Facebook. You name it. Looking at the data, nearly 70 percent of Americans were using their phones to share photos and read the news in 2015. This year, that figure increased to 80 percent. But now let's look at who exactly is being killed in car-related accidents and the frequency of that happening. The biggest increase in fatalities has been among bicyclists, motorcyclists and pedestrians.
In 2016, for example, 5,987 pedestrians were killed by cars, a 22 percent increase in only two years. Taking all this into account, a very troubling trend emerges: drivers are distracted by whatever it is they're doing on their smartphones while operating heavy machinery. Although the National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration (NHTSA) keeps records of all road fatalities and their causes, Bloomberg's report indicates that data is likely off regarding smartphone-related accidents. How come? Probably due to outdated data collecting methods. Some private groups and companies examining this issue believe the real number of fatalities tied to smartphones is at least three times what the NHTSA believes.