Zoom and other videoconferencing platforms became a regular part of life in 2020. Employees working from home use the video platforms to take part in business meetings. Others use them to check in with family and friends. The video sites are popular to the point that some people even use them while they’re driving.
Reckless driving on the rise
While fewer people have been on the roads during the pandemic, dangerous driving is on the upswing compared to the pre-pandemic period, according to Zendrive, a data company that uses smartphone sensors to measure driving behavior:
- Cell phone use while driving is up 38%.
- Speeding is up 27%.
- Hard braking (a sign of distracted driving) is up 25%.
Driving while videoconferencing
With many offices still closed, employees continue to work remotely — not just from home but also from behind the wheel. Safety experts and others cite video calls as the primary reason for the increased use of electronic devices while driving.
“We’ve seen a few folks … who have been injured while trying to participate in some sort of remote meeting,” Dr. Mark Muir, the trauma medical director of University Hospital in San Antonio, told television station KENS5 last year. Muir said he’d been on video meetings himself where, he believed, some of the participants were behind the wheel.
Reckless driving leaves innocent victims
Even motorists who drive safely are endangered by distracted drivers. A driver who looks away from the road for just two seconds when traveling at 55 miles per hour will traverse the length of two football fields. Meanwhile, a driver who is trying to unmute himself during a meeting is likely to look away for even longer.
Distracted driving can be lethal. People who are severely injured by a distracted driver can take legal action to hold the person accountable for his or her reckless or deadly actions.