California is home to some of the biggest tech companies in the world. Not surprisingly, many residents of the Golden State rely on smart tech from these companies to make their lives easier. This may range from portable smart devices to technology built into vehicles. Unfortunately, this tech can become so addictive that people struggle to focus on other tasks, such as driving.
MarketWatch estimates that cellphones are tied to 25% of all car crashes. When people text and drive, they reduce the brain’s focus on spatial reasoning by 37%. Spatial reasoning is how drivers identify potential hazards on the street relative to the position of their vehicles. It becomes obvious then why cellphone use presents a problem.
Many people who consider themselves safe drivers agree with this. People should absolutely not be texting or messing with the phone at all while driving. However, answering a phone call handsfree and taking the eyes off the road for two seconds to make sense of the GPS map may also cause an accident. In fact, all of these contribute to America’s now 10-year high traffic fatalities.
The frequently discussed stereotype of a distracted driver in California is a young teenage girl posting away on social media. However, NPR cites a Norwegian study that finds young, extroverted men who drive a lot as the most likely distracted drivers on the road. They are especially susceptible to distractions from the phone or changing the radio station.
While it is easy to point fingers at young and inexperienced drivers, adults who are veterans of the road also get distracted. Drivers all need to take personal responsibility for their actions while operating a vehicle and the lessons they pass on to younger children while doing so.