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New Research Shows the Increased Risk of a Crash for Drivers Using a Phone Behind the Wheel

cell phone use while driving

Over the past three years, the annual rate of fatal motor vehicle accidents in the US has increased steadily—a phenomenon that many experts attribute to the all-too-common use of cell phones by drivers. A new study has been released which shows just how much the risk of being involved in a crash rises when drivers talk on the phone or text while driving. Learn about the research below, and speak with an experienced New Jersey car accident attorney if you’ve been hurt in an accident with a distracted driver.

Study uses video footage of drivers to determine crash risk

Researchers for the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety conducted the study on the increased rate of crashes caused by phone use using video footage taken of drivers. Over the course of three years, participating drivers had video cameras installed in their vehicles that would film them as they drove. Researchers determined their increased risk of being involved in an accident while using their phones for either texting or talking by monitoring the drivers phone use in the moments before a crash with their phone use at other moments through their drive.

Crash risk increases precipitously when drivers touch and look at their phones

The AAA Foundation researchers found that drivers who used their phones for tasks that required them to both look at and touch their phones, such as texting, browsing the internet, or emailing, had a crash risk that was up to eight times higher than drivers who watched the road ahead. Drivers who talked on the phone, whether with a handheld phone or hands-free, had a crash risk that was up to four times higher than drivers watching the road.

Skyler McKinley, a AAA spokesperson, explained the intuitive but illustrative nature of the results. “Deep down, I think everybody appreciates just how dangerous it can be to text and drive or talk and drive. That so many drivers regularly engage in these deadly behaviors is evidence of a ‘It could never happen to me’ mindset. Today’s report should make one thing clear: Motorists are putting themselves, other road users, pedestrians, and property at significant risk every time they pick up the phone while driving.”

If you or someone you love has suffered injuries in a crash with a distracted driver, contact the effective, seasoned, and dedicated New Jersey personal injury lawyer Andrew R. Jacobs for a free consultation at 973-532-9681.

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