As cellphone and mobile device use becomes more and more popular each year by all age groups, the phrase don’t text and drive will continue to be repeated. However, drivers should also be told to not dial and drive.
A new study confirms that dialing, texting and even the act of reaching for a cellphone can increase the risk of a Cincinnati car accident or near-miss, particularly amongst younger drivers. However, the most surprising discovery was that talking on the phone while driving was not proven to be dangerous. If you have been injured in a car accident where the driver was texting and driving contact a leading Cincinnati personal injury lawyer today for a free consultation.
The study, conducted by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI), installed video cameras, lane tracts, and other sensory gadgets into the cars of more than 150 drivers between the ages of 16 and approximately 50 (drivers with an average of 20 years behind the wheel).
The risk of an auto accident or near-miss among teen drivers increased more than sevenfold if they were dialing or reaching for their phone; fourfold it they were sending or receiving a text.
Among older drivers, dialing a phone number increased the chances of a crash however, how dangerous texting is amongst older drivers is not known as the study began before texting became so common. Nonetheless, an AT&T study in 2013 found that more adults than teens admitted to texting and driving.
In teen drivers, reaching for something in the vehicle (such as a purse or iPod), eating, and even looking at a roadside object also increase the chances of an accident. As time went on novice drivers also increased their engagement in distractions.
Early studies by the VTTI suggested that driving risks increased when people were talking on their cellphones, especially teens however the new data suggests that this does not hold true any longer. Some researchers argue though that the study cannot measure cognitive distractions and decision making. Although a driver may not swerve while on the phone, they may run through a stop sign.
In Ohio there is a ban on all cellphone use, both handheld and hands-free, for novice drivers and a ban on texting and driving for all drivers. If a driver is caught texting while driving it is a secondary offense and drivers may be fined if caught.