c-driver-RTXYPNH-Ricardo Moraes

Drivers distracted by smartphones are killing thousands of Americans

14%

US traffic fatalities had been falling for decades. But then came the smartphone—and traffic fatalities have spiked by 14% over the last two years, to 37,460 in 2016.

Published   |  Photo by Reuters/Ricardo Moraes
c-driver-RTXYPNH-Ricardo Moraes
14%

Over the same period, smartphone use rose from 75% to 81%, and attention-grabbing apps became increasingly more popular. An estimated 88% of people use phones while driving.

c-driver-RTXYPNH-Ricardo Moraes
14%

The increase in deaths is almost solely among bikers, pedestrians, and motorcycles—smaller targets who are easier to miss if you’re distracted by your phone.

c-driver-RTXYPNH-Ricardo Moraes
14%

Deaths on the road in the US between 1994 and 2016

c-driver-RTXYPNH-Ricardo Moraes
14%

Meanwhile, alcohol is still a big factor: About 102 people died per day on US roads last year, and 29 of them were in alcohol-related accidents.

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