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Use of smartphone apps while driving is prevalent, especially among gig workers, IIHS finds


According to the findings of a recent study conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the majority of all drivers use their mobile devices to access apps when they are behind the wheel. This behavior is more prevalent among drivers under the age of 50 than among drivers over the age of 50.
The survey also discovered that people who work in the gig economy are four times more likely than other drivers to use smartphone apps when they are behind the wheel of a vehicle. According to the study, their responsibilities “went far beyond talking to customers and using the app their employer gave them to figure out how to get to pickup and delivery locations.

The study, titled “Prevalence of Distracted Driving by Driver Characteristics in the United States,” is based on a survey that was conducted across the country with 2,013 licensed drivers in the United States who were aged 16 and older.

 require them to use their phones while they are on the road,” said David Harkey, president of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), in a press release.
The authors of the study recommend that organizations that provide ridesharing services develop or improve regulations that prohibit device-based behaviors that aren’t vital to the service while also mandating safe procedures for tasks that are judged important.

According to the findings of the survey, ride-sharing applications should, if they don’t already, be able to automatically establish routes so that drivers don’t have to rely so heavily on navigation tools.
As of the year 2021, it was estimated that the ridesharing companies Uber and Lyft had a combined total of 2.5 million drivers.

The survey also found that parents are over fifty percent more likely than drivers without children 18 or younger to use their smartphones while driving to perform activities such as making video calls, checking the weather, and performing other tasks that may be performed on a smartphone.

Harkey stated that these findings demonstrate that everyone is susceptible to becoming sidetracked. They also believe that the fact that we can use our phones and other devices without touching them can make us feel a little too comfortable using them while driving. This could lead to accidents.

According to projections made by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than 3,000 people will lose their lives in car accidents that were brought on by distractions in the year 2020. This accounts for around 8% of all deaths caused by automobile accidents. According to the IIHS, the figure is “very probably” too low because it is difficult to determine whether or not a driver was distracted immediately before a collision.

 However, activities that include mobile phones and other technological devices might be more challenging and attractive than other popular types of diversions. According to the Institute of Industrial Health and Safety (IIHS), “in the past few years, the number of apps for cell phones has likewise expanded by leaps and bounds.”

The vast majority of drivers reported that when they had access to the hands-free capability, they typically made use of it to perform various tasks on their electronic devices. Approximately eighty percent of drivers who frequently used their navigation app claimed they did so with voice instructions, and seventy percent of drivers who read and sent texts stated the same thing.

According to Aimee Cox, an IIHS Research Associate, and the study’s primary author, “Hands-free operation is regarded as safer since drivers can keep their eyes on the road better.” This was one of the main findings of the study. “However, this solution does not eliminate the distraction in its entirety.”
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), past research has demonstrated that several hands-free functions require drivers to do some tasks manually, like scrolling through a list of contacts.

Because of this, these functions are less safe than those that only use voice instructions.
According to the IIHS, there are certain smartphone activities, such as scrolling through social media or playing games, that do not require or cannot use the hands-free features of the device. According to the results of the survey, one in five participants admitted to frequently using contemporary technology to keep their attention diverted while they were behind the wheel.

Eight percent used the time to play games, ten percent watched or recorded films, and nine percent browsed social media.
Participants in the survey were asked whether or not they had engaged in any of 18 different secondary activities while driving, 14 of which were related to the use of electronic devices. Among these activities are things like listening to music and watching movies online,

as well as sending and receiving emails

The researchers then determined how many drivers participated in the overall study and how many drivers belonged to each category, which they defined as drivers who routinely performed one or more secondary tasks in each category. Finally, the researchers counted how many drivers participated in each category according to the demographic group to which they belonged. The regular engagement was defined as taking place during most or all of the drives in the last 30 days.

The demographics that were chosen to be asked about include your age, gender, race or ethnicity, whether or not you have children, how frequently you drive, your level of education, your job (including a question about gig work), and your income.


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