We are all familiar with the dangers of cellphone use while driving. A new study highlights these dangers yet again, and shows how distracted driving puts everyone at risk on the road.
The study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that 60 percent of moderate and severe car crashes were caused by distractions. The researchers took a different approach to study the effects of cellphone use and other distractions among teen drivers in the United States.
The researchers used video cameras in vehicles of teens between the ages of 16 and 19. This allowed the researchers to capture the moments right before an accident. The researchers reported that cellphone use contributed to 12 percent of the accidents among teens in the study. More surprisingly, drivers talking to other passengers in the vehicle contributed to 15 percent of accidents.
These findings show how dangerous distractions can be while driving, whether it is caused by using a cellphone or talking to passengers. In both cases, the driver is taking his or her eyes off the road and paying more attention to something else.
Distracted driving is very dangerous. All drivers should be aware of the risks associated with cellphone use and other distractions in their vehicles. The study’s findings do not just apply to teenagers, either. Adult drivers continue to use cellphones behind the wheel and are at risk for becoming distracted.
Regardless of your age, you need to take steps to reduce distractions while driving. Put your cellphone away and focus on the road to keep everyone safe on the road.
Source: New York Times, “Car Crash Videos Highlight Risk of Multitasking With Phones,” Matt Richtel, March 25, 2015