More deaths in road accidents due to cellular distractions while driving

December 8, 2021
Corona effects

The NTSB (National Transportation Safety Board) has recently revealed worrying data on road accident patterns following the Corona crisis. Together with data published by the NSC (National Safety Council), it can be seen that although the volume of traffic on major roads in the United States decreased by 13% in 2020, the number of fatalities in road accidents jumped by 8% compared to 2019. The main reason for the increase is the increased number of distractions due to using a cell phone while driving.

However, this phenomenon is not a problem unique to the United States, and an examination of data from the past year reveals that this trend also characterizes Israel. The good news is that implementing SaverOne technology is the right step to an effective solution to a problem.

In December 2020, when the corona plague was at its peak, a bright spot was found – the number of people killed in road accidents in Israel was reduced by 15%. But, unfortunately, in the time that has passed since then, it has become clear that the joy was premature and the picture has changed.

In 2021 there was an alarming increase in the number of fatalities in road accidents. This fact strengthened the assumption that the improvement recorded in the previous year was due to closures, which affected the volume of road traffic decreased by tens of percent and not due to changing Israeli drivers’ driving habits. On the contrary – if it can be deduced from a new study published by the NTSB, it can be assumed that these habits have only deteriorated.

The plague increased dependence

NSC, a non-profit organization working to promote safety at work and on the road, published a summary report for 2020 revealing that 42,060 people were killed in road accidents in the United States during that year. This number represents an immediate 8% increase over 2019 and a record number of deaths since 2007.

Considering that the resulting picture is alarming in 2020 due to corona restrictions, the traffic volume on US roads has decreased by 13%. Unfortunately, however, it indicates a 24% increase in fatalities.

What is the explanation for the phenomenon? NTSB researchers believe that the most prominent variable in change is cell phone dependence during the plague. In addition, the closures, and especially the social distance regulations adopted to one degree or another by governments, have led more people to interact in cyberspace and digital space.

Some people who recognize in this phenomenon signs of addiction and from the analysis of accidents investigated by the NTSB found that the increased use of cell phones has spilled over to driving time, even if it has been relatively reduced. However, the data also indicate that the phenomenon only worsens with a 10.5% increase in accidental deaths in the United States compared to before Corona.

There is an alarming increase in Israel as well

As mentioned, this is not a problem unique to the United States. In the
continuous follow-up report of the Israeli National Road Safety Authority, which was updated only last month, it can be seen that there was a 40% (!) Increase in the number of deaths per billion kilometers traveled. Unfortunately, the Authority’s report does not list the causes of accidents. Still, it must be assumed that at least part of the answer in Israel is related to cellular distractions while driving, which have been considered the number one cause of road accidents for the past decade.

This discount becomes even more valid when you look at the Traffic Division of the Israel Police data, which shows a 16% increase in the number of drivers caught using the cell phone while driving. This increase probably reflects an increase in illicit use, also reflected in accidents and casualties.

 The solution: the SaverOne system

Returning to the NTSB report, which marked the prohibited use of cell phones as one of the reasons for the increase in the number of fatalities in accidents, it is worth dwelling on the following firm determination:

 “Additional research has clearly shown that companies benefit when they have a cell phone policy in place to prevent distracted driving.”

Our accumulated experience with SaverOne shows that the best policy for the organization in the context of “driving distractions” is to
prevent them in advance, which can be done smartly by implementing the SaverOne system in the company’s vehicle fleet.

Today it has been proven that organizations with vehicle fleets that have already implemented the system have reduced the chance of road accidents and thus provide their employees with an additional protective shell.