Taking the call could risk it all

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Talking on the phone – not texting – Is the biggest killer in distracted driving

Cellphones are now involved in 26% of all motor vehicle crashes according the National Safety Council.  Although there are numerous warnings against texting and driving, it only accounts for about 5% of cellphone related crashes. Using a hand-held or hands-free cellphone attributes to 21% of cellphone related crashes.

Because of the fact that people are more comfortable talking on the phone while driving as opposed to texting and driving, it is more common. Texting while driving definitely adds more elements of distraction, considering your eyes are taken off the road. You also have to factor in that much of the data reported for these surveys is under reported because people do not want to admit they have driven distracted.

In the future, the number of crashes from texting while driving may increase. The lack of enforcement for distracted driving has also caused the number of drivers using devices while driving to increase. Since people are not facing jail time or large fines like they would if they were drinking while driving, they are less likely to stop the habit. The irony is that talking on the phone while driving has been shown to be worse than drinking certain levels of alcohol. You reaction time slows down nearly 50 percent slower than under normal conditions.

The future may hold many safety improvements such as bans on cellphones while driving, vehicles that disable you from using your cellphone while driving, and the self-driving vehicle. We are hoping that in the future more people will be concerned about their safety and the safety of others by not using their phones while driving.

For more useful statistics related to driving while using your cellphone click here.

Source: Quentin Fottrell, “You Killed me at help: 26% of car wrecks involve phones,” Market Watch, March 26, 2014.

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