Despite Digital Bans, We’re Talking-Texting MORE Behind Wheel
In Washington state, we have the new Driving Under the Influence of Electronics law, which bans any use of any hand-held digital device behind the wheel--even at a stoplight.
We're one of 14 such states who've passed complete bans. But despite the risk of getting a DUIE (Driving Under the Influence of Electronics) many Americans simply ignore the law. In fact, cellphone and digital use has gone up.
According to a new study done by the group Zendrive, the number of people who use technology while driving has risen 5 percent. Zendrive tracks digital devise use by drivers for insurance companies and ride-hail companies such as Uber.
Between December 2017, and February 2018, Zendrive monitored the habits of 4.5 million drivers, who covered over 7.1 billion miles. They found over 66 percent used a mobile phone at least once. Of those who picked up the phone, they used them for an average of four minutes.
The only legal phone use in 14 states, including Oregon and Washington, is hands-free, almost always utilized through the vehicle's dashboard system. But despite these restrictions, the only state where cellphone use actually went down was Vermont. Mississippi and Rhode Island were the worst, with an 8 percent increase. Peak cellphone use, says Zendrive, is usually centered around the 4pm hour, when many commuters are on their way home, and want to sneak in a call or a peek at the latest news or social media information.