In a small, unofficial study, a student at the University of Alabama Birmingham found that at least 33% of her fellow students use mobile apps while behind the wheel of a car.
The study only encompassed 93 of her fellow students and was limited to mobile apps. She did not inquire about texting, so the numbers could have been higher. The results of her study were fairly dramatic, though. 10% of respondents said they used apps frequently, often, or almost always while driving. 33% responded that they used apps sometimes.
Distracted driving has been linked to an ever increasing number of traffic fatalities in the last five years. Thirty-three states ban texting while driving, but no state bans mobile apps at this time. Many of the apps do not require hands on use other than to open and start them, but the time spent looking at something other than the road while you drive is dangerous time spent.
Perhaps insurance and lending companies should get involved, campaigning against practices that are not only unsafe, but will cost them money in the long run. After all, the leading cause of defaults on student car loans is repairs. Evidence is surely building that distracting driving leads to accidents.