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Cellphones and Driving

Cellphones and Driving

Increased reliance on cellphones has led to a rise in the number of people who use the devices while driving. There are two dangers associated with driving and cellphone use, including text messaging. First, drivers must take their eyes off the road while dialing. 

Second, people can become so absorbed in their conversations that their ability to concentrate on the act of driving is severely impaired, jeopardizing the safety of vehicle occupants and pedestrians. 

Since the first law was passed in New York in 2001 banning hand-held cellphone use while driving, there has been debate as to the exact nature and degree of hazard. The latest research shows that while using a cellphone when driving may not be the most dangerous distraction, because it is so prevalent it is by far the most common distraction in crashes and near crashes. 


Studies about cellphone use while driving have focused on several different aspects of the problem. Some have looked at its prevalence as the leading cause of driver distraction. Others have looked at the different risks associated with hand-held and hands-free devices. 

Still others have focused on the seriousness of injuries in crashes involving cellphone users and the demographics of drivers who use cellphones. Of increasing concern is the practice of texting. In January 2010 the National Safety Council (NSC) released a report that estimates that at least 1.6 million crashes (28 percent of all crashes) are caused each year by drivers talking on cellphones (1.4 million crashes) and texting (200,000 crashes). 

The estimate is based on data of driver cellphone use from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and from peer-reviewed research that quantifies the risks using cellphones and texting while driving. 

In July 2009 Virginia Tech Transportation Institute released a study showing that the risk of texting while driving is far greater than previous estimates showed and far exceeds the hazards associated with other driving distractions. 

Researchers used cameras in the cabs of trucks traveling long distances over a period of 18 months and found that the collision risk became 23 times higher when the drivers were texting. The research also measured the time drivers stopped looking at the road and used their eyes to send or receive texts. 

Drivers generally spent nearly five seconds looking at their devices before a crash or near crash, a period long enough for a vehicle to travel more than 100 yards at typical highway speeds.
Bona Pasogit
Bona Pasogit Content Creator, Video Creator and Writer

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