We love our smartphones. They keep us in touch with friends and family, they “leash” us to the office, offer endless entertainment and information options and fit snugly in our pockets. It is hard to manage life, it seems, without a smartphone these days, and for a majority of smartphone users, they could be the key to stopping drunk driving… or could they just be full of hot air?
Recent surveys have indicated that more people would be willing to give up drinking alcohol over giving up their smartphones, showing the dependence we all share when it comes to mobile technology. There is a benefit to this, however: if we were to give up alcohol in order to keep our smartphones, there would clearly be less drunk driving accidents and injuries. The effectiveness of using devices to curb drunk driving, such as car breathalyzer or ignition interlock devices, has been proven. Unfortunately, while many respondents in these surveys said they’d stop drinking before losing their smartphones, that behavior has yet to be proven.
It is great to think that just by simply removing alcohol from the hands of would-be drunk drivers that our roads would immediately be a safer place. Even in the smartphone vs. alcohol scenario, a logical question would be how many people would still be texting and driving – a habit that is likened to the dangers of drunk driving. However, the only way to reduce the number of drunk drivers on the road is with education, awareness, car breathalyzers and other interventions that are proven to work.
Whether it is likely that a person would really give up drinking alcohol for their smartphone remains to be seen. There are plenty of positive uses for the gadgets, and they really aren’t going away anytime soon, so perhaps it is a worthy experiment to conduct in order to reduce the rate of drunk driving. However, the majority of people who drink alcohol are already responsible enough to know not to drive while intoxicated, no matter their devotion to their smartphone.