Connect with us

World

Smartphones may have role in rise of U.S. traffic deaths

Published

 on 

Smartphones may have role in rise of U.S. traffic deaths | Thaiger

PHUKET MEDIA WATCH

– World news selected by Gazette editors for Phuket’s international community

Smartphones may have role in rise of U.S. traffic deaths
Phuket Gazette / Reuters


PHUKET: The number of deaths from traffic accidents in the United States jumped 8.1 percent in the first half of 2015, suggesting smartphones and other driving distractions could be making America’s roadways more dangerous, officials said on Tuesday.

Preliminary government statistics, released during a Thanksgiving holiday week known for heavy traffic congestion, showed deaths rising to 16,225 in the January-June period at a rate more than double an increase in overall driving spawned by falling gasoline prices and a growing economy.

“The increase in smartphones in our hands is so significant, there’s no question that has to play some role. But we don’t have enough information yet to determine how big a role,” said Mark Rosekind, who heads the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the federal government’s auto safety watchdog.

The jump in 2015 fatalities follows a decline in annual traffic deaths to 32,675 last year, for a record low of 1.07 deaths per million vehicle miles traveled, according to NHTSA statistics. The 2014 data included 21,022 passenger vehicle deaths, the lowest since record-keeping began in 1975.

The increase in the first half of 2015 was the biggest six-month jump in traffic deaths reported since 1977, according to statistics. But officials cautioned that semi-annual results can be subject to major revisions and noted that a comparable 7.9 percent increase in early 2012 led to a 4 percent rise for that year as a whole.

Officials said it was too early to identify contributing factors. But Rosekind told reporters that officials are looking at likely causes including distracted driving and the possibility lower gas prices have encouraged more driving among “risky drivers” such as teen-agers.

Rosekind also criticized an absence of effective state laws that prohibit hand-held smartphones by drivers or require the use of seatbelts and motorcycle helmets.

The auto safety agency expects to unveil a program next year to target $500 million in federal safety grants at human factors that are responsible for 94 percent of motor vehicle crashes.

— Phuket Gazette Editors

 

Get more from The Thaiger

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Thailand15 mins ago

Thailand News Today | Foreigners anger Chiang Mai locals for kissing in temple

World16 mins ago

Former Coventry footballer seriously ill in Thai hospital

Crime21 mins ago

Weapons used by jealous Thai man to murder and chop up lover found

Guides26 mins ago

Foodie Zone: Should you try Keto diet? 2022

Chiang Mai31 mins ago

River in Chiang Mai overflows, floods spread

Thailand1 hour ago

3-year jail term for carrying crops, fruit & veg into Japan

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Thailand2 hours ago

Bank repossesses the wrong house in central Thailand

Thailand2 hours ago

Innocent man jailed 7 months for 15.8 million baht theft demands justice

Weather2 hours ago

Thailand’s cold season expected to hit in late October

Thailand2 hours ago

ฺThai boxer blackmails 20 women into sending nude pics

World3 hours ago

South Korea gives North Korea a warning

Visa3 hours ago

Philippines offers attractive alternative to Thailand’s 10 year LTR visa

Phuket4 hours ago

Thousands join Chinese ceremony at Phuket Vegetarian Festival

Coronavirus (Covid-19)4 hours ago

Bang Sue’s Central Vaccination Centre officially closed

Thailand4 hours ago

Nuan the cat feline good about upcoming APEC meeting

Thailand1 year ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism2 years ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Trending