Study: Drivers Using Cell Phones in More Dangerous Ways
UNITED STATES – As reported online by thetrucker.com, drivers in America are using their cell phones in more dangerous ways. A recent study found that people are more likely to manipulate their phones while driving, rather than simply holding the phones or talking on the phones.*
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety conducted a roadside study in March 2018 in which observers posted at 12 locations in Northern Virginia noted the behaviors of drivers. In all, the observers watched and recorded the actions of 12,000 drivers and found that 3.4 percent of the drivers were manipulating their phones (texting, browsing social media, checking emails, etc.). This represented a 57 percent increase from the previous study, which took place in 2014 and found that 2.3 percent of 14,000 observed drivers were manipulating their phones.
The percent of drivers simply holding or talking on their cell phones dropped from the 2014 study to the 2018 study. In 2014, 4.9 percent of drivers were observed holding their phones, and 4.1 percent were observed talking on their phones. In 2018, 2.8 percent of drivers were observed holding their phones, and 3.7 percent were observed talking on their phones.
“The latest data suggest that drivers are using their phones in riskier ways,” said David Kidd, senior research scientist at the Highway Loss Data Institute. “The observed shift in phone use is concerning because studies consistently link manipulating a cell phone while driving to increased risk of crash.”
The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety and the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute found in a 2018 study that manipulating a cell phone while driving increases the risk of a deadly vehicle crash by 66 percent.
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