Friday, February 24, 2012

Cell Phone & Texting Accident Statistics

Cell Phone & Texting Accident Statistics

Data regarding car accidents involving cell phone use and/or texting while driving has been limited in the past, but it’s slowly becoming available to the public.

The information on this page reflects the most current statistics regarding cell phone usage and text messaging during car accidents.

While the popularity of mobile phones has grown enormously in the past two decades, it’s still unclear how greatly cell phone calls and texting contribute to car crashes. What is clear is that talking on the phone and texting behind the wheel both lead to distraction, and driver inattention is the leading cause of car accidents.
2011 Distracted Driving Statistics

Most adults who drive admit to engaging in distracted driving behaviors, according to a HealthDay poll from November 10-14, 2011. More than 2,800 American adults responded to the poll. Results showed the following statistics:

* Approximately 86% of drivers said they ate or drank while driving at some point, and 57% said they do it “sometimes” or “often.”
* Over 1/3 of drivers (37%) have sent or received text messages while driving, and 18% said they do it regularly.
* Forty-one percent of adult drivers have set or changed a GPS system while driving, and 21% do it “more frequently.”
* Many adult drivers (36%) have read a map while driving, and 10% do it “sometimes” or “often.”
* One in five drivers have combed or styled his or her hair while driving. One in ten does it regularly.
* Have you ever seen a driver putting on makeup? Approximately 14% have done it once, and 7% do it frequently.
* About 13% of adult drivers have surfed the Internet while driving.
* Results of the poll showed that younger drivers were more likely to engage in distracted driving. Men were more likely to drive while drowsy, drive after drinking, read a map, use a GPS system, and use the Internet.
* A large percentage of the people said they know distracted driving is dangerous, but do it anyway.

Driver Electronic Use in 2010

* According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the percentage of drivers who were using a cell phone (texting or manipulating it in some way) increased to 0.9% in 2010.
* The percentage of drivers using a cell phone while holding it to their ears was 5% in 2010
* The level of hand-held cell phone use was higher among female drivers than it was for male drivers.
* Younger drivers ages 16 to 24 were more likely to use a hand-held cell phone.
* More than three-quarters reported that they were likely to answer calls on all, most, or some trips while driving. They also said that they rarely consider traffic situations when deciding to use their cell phones.
* There were 3,092 deaths in distraction-related accidents in 2010, but the number is likely much higher.
* Most drivers said they are willing to answer a call or text while driving, but most of these same drivers said they would feel unsafe as a passenger in a car where the driver was sending or receiving text messages.

Texting While Driving Statistics

* About 6,000 deaths and a half a million injuries are caused by distracted drivers every year.
* While teenagers are texting, they spend about 10 percent of the time outside the driving lane they’re supposed to be in.
* Talking on a cell phone while driving can make a young driver’s reaction time as slow as that of a 70-year-old.
* Answering a text takes away your attention for about five seconds. That is enough time to travel the length of a football field.

2009 Cell Phone and Distracted Driving Statistics

* In 2009, 5,474 people were killed in the U.S. because of accidents that involved distracted driving. Another 448,000 were injured.
* Of the 5,474 killed because of distracted driving, 995 involved reports of a cell phone as a factor. However, the number of fatalities caused by cell phone use could be much higher. For those who were injured, 24,000 involved reports of cell phone use as a distraction.
* The under-20 age group had the highest percentage of distracted drivers; 16% of drivers under 20 years old involved in fatal crashes were distracted while driving.
* The 30- to 39-year-old age group had the highest percentage of cell phone use in fatal crashes.
* More people are driving while distracted when they are involved in fatal crashes. The percentage of fatalities associated with distracted drivers increased from 10% in 2005 to 16% in 2009.
* In 2009, 867 fatal crashes were reported to have involved cell phones as a means for driver distraction (18% of all fatal distracted-driving crashes).
* People driving light trucks and motorcyclists had the highest percentage of total drivers reported as distracted at the time of fatal crashes (12% each).
* A teen driver riding with one other passenger doubles the risk of being involved in a fatal car crash. With two or more passengers, the risk increases to five times as likely.
* Research reveals that 46% of drivers under 18 admit to texting while driving. Driver distraction is a factor in 25- to 50% of all car accidents, with 61% of teen drivers admitting to risky driving habits.
* In 2009, the South had the highest percentage of cell phone use while driving at 6%. The Northeast came in at 4%.

Teen Driver Cell Phone and Text Messaging Statistics

* Despite the risks, the majority of teen drivers ignore cell phone driving restrictions.
* In 2007, driver distractions, such as using a cell phone or text messaging, contributed to nearly 1,000 crashes involving 16- and 17-year-old drivers.
* Over 60 percent of American teens admit to risky driving, and nearly half of those that admit to risky driving also admit to text messaging behind the wheel.
* Each year, 21% of fatal car crashes involving teenagers between the ages of 16 and 19 were the result of cell phone usage. This result has been expected to grow as much as 4% every year.
* Almost 50% of all drivers between the ages of 18 and 24 are texting while driving.
* Over one-third of all young drivers, ages 24 and under, are texting on the road.
* Teens say that texting is their number one driver distraction.

Adult Driver Cell Phone, Texting, and Car Accident Information

* Talking on a cell phone causes nearly 25% of car accidents.
* One-fifth of experienced adult drivers in the United States send text messages while driving.
* A study of dangerous driver behavior released in January 2007 by Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co. found that of 1,200 surveyed drivers, 73 percent talk on cell phones while driving.
* The same 2007 survey found that 19 percent of motorists say they text message while driving.
* In 2005, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that ten percent of drivers are on hand-held or hands free cell phones at any given hour of the day.
* A study conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Motorists found that motorists who use cell phones while driving are four times more likely to get into crashes serious enough to injure themselves.
* In 2002, the Harvard Center for Risk Analysis calculated that 2,600 people die each year as a result of using cellphones while driving. They estimated that another 330,000 are injured.
* According to the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, drivers talking on cell phones are 18 percent slower to react to brake lights. They also take 17 percent longer to regain the speed they lost when they braked.
* An estimated 44 percent of American drivers now have cell phones in their automobiles.
* Of cell phone users that were surveyed, 85 percent said they use their phones occasionally when driving, 30 percent use their phones while driving on the highway, and 27 percent use them during half or more of the trips they take.
* 84 percent of cell phone users stated that they believe using a cell phone while driving increases the risk of being in an accident.
* The majority of Americans believe that talking on the phone and texting are two of the most dangerous behaviors that occur behind the wheel. Still, as many as 81% of drivers admit to making phone calls while driving.
* The number of crashes and near-crashes linked to dialing is nearly identical to the number associated with talking or listening. Dialing is more dangerous but occurs less often than talking or listening.
* Studies have found that texting while driving causes a 400 percent increase in time spent with eyes off the road.

Study Reveals the Dangers of Texting While Driving

The following statistics come from a study conducted by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI):

* Of all cell phone related tasks – including talking, dialing, or reaching for the phone – texting while driving is the most dangerous.
* Teen drivers are four times more likely than adults to get into car crashes or near crash events directly related to talking on a cell phone or texting.
* A car driver dialing a cell phone is 2.8 times more likely to get into a crash than a non-distracted driver.
* A driver reaching for a cell phone or any other electronic device is 1.4 times more likely to experience a car crash.
* A car driver talking on their phone is 1.3 times more likely to get into an accident.
* A truck driver texting while driving is 23.2 times more likely to get into an accident than a trucker paying full attention to the road.
* A truck driver dialing a cell is 5.9 times more likely to crash.
* A trucker reaching for a phone or other device is 6.7 times more likely to experience a truck accident.
* For every 6 seconds of drive time, a driver sending or receiving a text message spends 4.6 of those seconds with their eyes off the road. This makes texting the most distracting of all cell phone related tasks.

Pennsylvania Cell Phone Car Crash Stats

In Pennsylvania, although there are no laws regarding talking on the cell or sending text messages while driving, there are emerging statistics that show the connection between cell phone use and car wrecks.

* There were 23,059 crashes involving 16- to 19-year-olds in 2008, resulting in 194 deaths. Driver distraction contributed to about 10% of them, but the number could be much higher.
* In Pennsylvania, there were 1,298 cell phone related accidents in 2008. Of those accidents, 9 resulted in death.
* From 2003 to 2006, car accidents from cell phone use lead to 50 deaths across the state of Pennsylvania.
* Cell phone-related car accidents shot up 43 percent in western Pennsylvania from 2003 to 2006.
* A normal, undistracted driver fails to notice an important road event (like another driver mistake) 3% of the time. An adult dialing a cell phone misses that event 13% of the time, and a teenager dialing a cell phone misses it 53% of the time.
* According to PennDOT, from 2002 to 2006 there were 5,715 car accidents linked to the use of hand-held cell phones in PA.
* PennDOT also reports 367 accidents in the same time period involving hands free cell phones or Bluetooth communication devices.
* In 2004 alone, hand-held cell phone use contributed to over 1,170 Pennsylvania car crashes.
* Accidents involving talking or texting on a cell phone rose from 168 in 2003 to 228 in 2005 in the Western Pennsylvania region. That’s a 36 percent increase in over two years.

CPJ demands safe passage for wounded journalists

CPJ demands safe passage for wounded journalists

New York, February 24, 2012--Syrian authorities must heed the call issued by more than 60 countries today to stop the ongoing shelling in Syria, and allow medical access and safe passage to the wounded and dead journalists trapped in Homs, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.

Representatives from more than 60 countries met on Friday in Tunis at the "Friends of Syria" conference to discuss a solution to the ongoing crisis. The group called on the Syrian regime to implement an immediate cease-fire, allow for the delivery of humanitarian aid, and end hostilities, and also requested that the United Nations begin planning a peacekeeping mission, news reports said.

On Friday afternoon, news accounts reported that the Syrian Red Crescent had begun to evacuate injured women and children from the district of Baba Amr in Homs, but none of the journalists had been evacuated yet, a spokeswoman for the International Committee of the Red Cross told Reuters.

Government forces shelled the besieged neighborhood of Baba Amr on Wednesday, killing Marie Colvin of the Times and Rémi Ochlik, a French photographer, in the attack, according to news reports. Edith Bouvier, a French reporter for Le Figaro, and Paul Conroy, a British photographer for The Sunday Times, were injured in the same attack, news reports said. Bouvier and Conroy, and the bodies of Colvin and Ochlik, remain trapped in Homs, news reports said.

"The Syrian army must immediately cease its shelling to allow for humanitarian aid to reach the besieged city of Homs where hundreds of civilians have been killed in recent days, including journalists," said CPJ Executive Director Joel Simon. "For more than two days now, journalists Edith Bouvier and Paul Conroy have been injured and trapped in Homs, and the bodies of Marie Colvin and Rémi Ochlik have been prevented from reaching their families."

Bouvier, who required medical attention for a shattered femur, posted a video plea on YouTube on Thursday, saying she needed an urgent operation and an ambulance to evacuate her. Her doctor, who also appeared in the video, said she had to be evacuated immediately.

Shortly after, Conroy also posted a video plea on YouTube, which showed the three large leg wounds he sustained from the attack. His doctor said he needed to be evacuated immediately. Constant shelling around them could be heard in the background of the video.

Two other journalists, William Daniels, a reporter for Le Figaro and Time magazine, and Javier Espinosa, a reporter for the Spanish daily El Mundo, are also in Homs.

Hundreds of civilians have been killed in Homs recently. Another journalist, Rami al-Sayed, was killed in Baba Amr on Tuesday. Seven journalists have died in Syria since November, CPJ research shows.

Powerful Women Rulers Everyone Should Know

Powerful Women Rulers Everyone Should Know
Queens, Empresses, Pharaohs, Rulers

By Jone Johnson Lewis

"Pharaoh Hatshepsut presenting an offering to the god Horus."(c)
Long before Cleopatra reigned over Egypt, another woman held the reins of power: Hatshepsut. We know her mainly through the major temple built in her honor, which her successor and stepson defaced to try to erase her reign from memory.

Cleopatra, Queen of Egypt
"Lerouisse painting of Anthony and Cleopatra (18th century)."From a public domain image. Modifications © 2006 Jone Johnson Lewis.
Cleopatra was the last Pharaoh of Egypt, and the last of the Ptolemy dynasty of Egyptian rulers. As she tried to keep power for her dynasty, she made famous (or infamous) connections with Roman rulers Julius Caesar and Marc Antony. (Also: Cleopatra Facts)

Empress Theodora
"Empress Theodora"©
Theodora, empress of Byzantium from 527-548, was probably the most influential and powerful woman in the empire's history.

Today's teenagers love to hear there really was a Queen of the Goths. Amalasuntha was Regent Queen of the Ostrogoths; her murder became the rationale for Justinian's invasion of Italy and defeat of the Goths. Unfortunately, we have only a few very biased sources for her life.

Empress Suiko
Although the legendary rulers of Japan, before written history, were said to be empresses, Suiko is the first empress in recorded history to rule Japan. During her reign, Buddhism was officially promoted, Chinese and Korean influence increased, and, according to tradition, a 17-article constitution was adopted.
Olga of Russia
A cruel and revengeful ruler as regent for her son, Olga was named the first Russian saint in the Orthodox Church, for her efforts in converting the nation to Christianity.

Eleanor of Aquitaine
"Eleanor of Aquitaine marries Louis VII - depicted in the Chronique de St Denis"©
Eleanor ruled Aquitaine in her own right, and occasionally served as regent for her husbands (first the King of France then the King of England) or sons (kings of England) were out of the country. Eleanor of Aquitaine certainly had a long and interesting life!

Isabella, Queen of Castile and Aragon (Spain)
"Queen Isabella the Catholic"(c) 2001 Used by permission.
Isabella ruled Castile and Aragon jointly with her husband, Ferdinand. She's famous for supporting Columbus' voyage; she's also credited for her part in expelling the Muslims from Spain, expelling the Jews, instituting the Inquisition in Spain, insisting that the Native Americans be treated as persons, and her patronage of arts and education.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Beachgoers urged to report endangered leatherback turtle sightings

A female leatherback turtle returns to the Atlantic after laying eggs on a beach in French Guiana. The Marine Conservation Society wants the public to report turtle sightings in British waters, where they come to feed on abundant jellyfish. Photograph: Françoise Emily/Alamy

Beachgoers urged to report endangered leatherback turtle sightingsEndangered leatherback turtles are lured to British waters by the huge number of jellyfish, says the Marine Conservation Society

Share 324 reddit this Press Association, Wednesday 10 August 2011 09.40 BST Article history

Beachgoers are being asked to look out for endangered leatherback turtles which are currently visiting UK waters to feed on the huge numbers of jellyfish.

The Marine Conservation Society (MCS) wants the public to report any turtles they see during August, the peak time to spot the creatures in UK waters, to see if there are any hotspots for them or areas where conservation measures are needed.

MCS specialists say the turtles are arriving from their nesting grounds in the Caribbean to feed on jellyfish, numbers of which, they believe, are rising, potentially providing more food for the critically endangered species.

Unlike other reptiles, says the MCS, leatherback turtles, which can weigh up to a tonne and grow to three metres (10ft) long, can maintain their own body heat up to 18C warmer than even the cold British summer seas.

This year, the Irish Sea in particular has been "turtle heaven" because of the huge numbers of jellyfish there, said Dr Peter Richardson, MCS's biodiversity programme manager and turtle specialist.

There have already been a dozen sightings, compared with a recent average of about 20 turtles a summer – but in a good year as many as 60 or 70 animals may be seen.

Richardson said the Atlantic appeared to have become the last stronghold of the leatherback. Breeding populations of turtles are increasing in the Atlantic while they face extinction in the Pacific and Indian oceans.

Their better fortune in the Atlantic could be due to conservation measures to protect their beach nesting sites, massive declines in species such as tuna which feed on baby turtles, and increasing numbers of jellyfish.

Pollution, over-fishing and climate change are among the theories for the increase in jellyfish.

"There are so many jellyfish this year, with lots and lots of reports, particularly in the Irish Sea – it's turtle heaven, there's so much food for them," Richardson said.

"We want to know where and when they occur and if there are any hotspots so we know where they are and can run any protective measures where they occur."

He added: "The leatherback is the largest of all marine turtle species and at a distance could be mistaken for a floating log, but if you approach them slowly and carefully, once you see their large reptilian head, massive flippers and ridged leathery shell you can't mistake them for anything else."

More than one in 10 marine species in tropical eastern Pacific face extinction

More than one in 10 marine species in tropical eastern Pacific face extinction
Scientific survey reveals level of threat to many of the region's marine mammals, sea turtles, birds, corals and mangroves

Share 92 reddit this Alok Jha, science correspondent, Thursday 23 February 2012 16.31 GMT Article history

More than one in 10 (12%) of the marine species in the tropical eastern Pacific Ocean are threatened with extinction, according to a new survey. Many of the region's marine mammals, sea turtles, birds, corals and mangroves were found to be under pressure from overfishing, pollution, habitat destruction and impacts from El Niño.

Scientists led by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) surveyed more than 1,600 species in areas including the Gulf of California, the coasts of Panama and Costa Rica and several offshore oceanic islands and archipelagos in the tropical eastern Pacific. They found 197 species in the threatened categories, that is, "critically endangered", "endangered" or "vulnerable".

All five species of marine turtles are in one of these threatened categories. Many habitat-producing species are also in threatened categories: 40% of mangroves, 25% of seagrasses, and 18% of reef-building corals. Around 15% of cartilaginous fishes and 9% of the bony fishes in the region are threatened, as are around 15% of marine mammals and 21% of seabirds.

"Understanding species vulnerability to major threats is paramount for determining how species and marine environments are likely to respond to one or more simultaneous threats," said Beth Polidoro, a research associate at the IUCN marine biodiversity unit. "Identification of threatened species and patterns of threat in the tropical eastern Pacific region can help guide local and regional marine conservation priorities for biodiversity conservation, as well as serve to inform policy."

The results of Polidoro's study, which will inform the IUCN's "red list" of threatened species, are due to be published in an upcoming edition of the journal Marine Ecology Progress Series.

In the paper, Polidoro and her team wrote that more than 20 marine species have become extinct around the world in recent decades and around 133 local populations have suffered the same fate. These declines include the disappearance of the endemic Galapagos damselfish (Azurina eupalama) during the El Niño of 1982-83. "Drastic recent declines have also been documented across several marine groups, including many populations of commercial marine fishes, coral reef fishes, reef-building oysters, corals, and seagrasses," the researchers wrote.

The commercial marine fishes, the totoaba (Totoaba macdonaldi) and the giant sea bass (Stereolepis gigas) are listed by conservationists as "critically endangered" - both were once common in the waters around southern California and the Gulf of California. They are sought for human consumption but do not cope well with overfishing due to their long life spans. Because they spawn in large groups that are targeted by fishing fleets, it is more difficult to maintain sustainable populations.

"Saving threatened species is the single most important thing we can do to safeguard ocean health, which benefits millions of people that depend on thriving and productive oceans," said Scott Henderson, regional director of marine conservation at Conservation International and a co-author of the study. "This new study is a monumental scientific effort which gives governments and support organisations the information needed to focus conservation dollars on the species, places and problems that need help the most."

IUCN red list assessments can be used to inform the design of reserves to prevent development and exploitation. One of the highest proportions of threatened species in the tropical eastern Pacific, for example, is around tiny Clipperton Island. "The creation of a Clipperton marine protected area should be a high regional priority," wrote the researchers. "Further, legislation to limit mangrove removal from important fishery nursing grounds along the coasts of Costa Rica and Panama is needed. For the few fishery species that are threatened based on the availability of adequate data, better management is needed on both local and regional scales. More importantly, however, increased reporting and better monitoring of by-catch are needed for the majority of species considered to be threatened by overexploitation in the [tropical eastern Pacific]."

Henderson said that broken fisheries can be fixed by implementing better fishing practices, changing access rights and setting in practice quotas and zoning that both protect the environment and increase fisheries production. "Some of the formerly most polluted waterways in the world, including the Great Lakes and indeed the Hudson River – are once again healthy, productive fishing areas," he said. "Marine protected areas maximise resilience to the impacts of severe weather and climate change."