Common Sense, Phone Home

texting while driving

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BOSTON (WBZ-AM) -- Today up at the State House, Senate President Karen Spilka is hosting an interactive exhibit designed to educate people about the horrendous risk you take when you fiddle with your smartphone behind the wheel.

And yes, I mean you.

Almost 90 percent of us admit to texting, checking email, taking pictures and all the rest of the smartphone addictions when driving.

Car crashes involving a distracted driver can be caused by a lot of things, from the mundane--like adjusting the radio or other dashboard controls--to the ridiculous, like reading or applying makeup behind the wheel.

But those phones are coming on strong as the worst habit of all. Phone use behind the wheel is credited with 1.6 million crashes a year, 1.6 million!

No wonder they call distracted driving “the new drunk driving.” Texting drivers are six times more likely to cause a crash than a buzzed driver.

Perhaps most disturbing of all is the survey that found nearly all of the people they poll considered themselves safe drivers, but more than half of the same group acknowledged they use their phones behind the wheel.

We are in denial about our smartphone addiction and the risks it is causing, and we can’t count on the companies profiting off that addiction to do anything about it.

Two years ago the New York Times noted the surge in phone-related accidents was tied to the proliferation of apps like Waze and Pokemon Go that entice a driver to take their eyes off the road.

Most of us will likely ignore all this until we lose a loved one to this madness, or harm ourselves.

But is that really the best we can do, knowing what we know?

You can listen to Keller At Large on WBZ News Radio every weekday at 7:55 a.m. Listen to his previous podcasts on iHeartRadio. 

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Keller @ Large

Keller @ Large

Jon Keller is a WBZ TV & Radio political analyst. Read more

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