by Jordan Nichols–
Blacksburg, Va. – “PopSockets” have become the new craze adding a new level to distracted driving.
PopSockets are small adhesive accessories on the back of cell phones. These accessories have accessories that can be mounted into cars, which can be helpful or distracting behind the wheel.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), during the day around 481,000 drivers are by their distracted cell phones. Distracted drivers make up 3,477 fatalities each year with 391,000 being injured.
The installation of these simple accessories can be catastrophic. Fourteen states plus the District of Columbia have outlawed any use of the cell phone behind the wheel. While 46 states have ended texting while driving. Police have recognized this issue and feel it is one of the biggest problems for drivers.
Although PopSockets have the ability to aid in the hands-free movement while driving, this can also draw more attention to driver’s phones instead of the road.
Ages 16 to 24-year-olds have the highest cell phone use behind the wheel, and women have more fatal car crashes due to cell phone use than men, according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. This issue of distracted driving is an easy fix when drivers only have to keep their eyes on the road and hands off their phones.
Jared Havens, a Virginia Tech student, realizes the danger of distracted drivers, “I see drivers every day around campus and it’s dangerous. People aren’t paying attention behind the wheel and on-campus people don’t look, which can really be a serious combination for pedestrians and drivers.”
The U.S. Department of Transportation and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration just had their 5th Annual U Drive. U Text. U Pay. Campaign. This campaign promotes drivers to stay off their mobile devices behind the wheel through a series of advertisements on multiple platforms.
Distracted driving takes the focus from the road. Although PopSockets have the ability to reduce the distraction, mounting your cell phone to an easier location can still be a threat to safety. Hand-free is not distraction free for any driver.