Nearly 25% of Car Crashes Linked to Gadget Use

Texting, talking on a cellphone and other distractions caused by electronic gadgets cause up to 25% of car crashes, according to a report by the Governors Highway Safety Association, a nonprofit group working to improve traffic safety.

Drivers are distracted about half the time they're driving, according to the GHSA report. It also found that cellphone use and texting increase the risk of an accident. Like other recent reports, it says texting increases the risks more than simply talking on a cellphone.

The report also questions the effectiveness of handheld cellphone and texting bans. It found there’s no conclusive evidence that talking via a Bluetooth headset or other hands-free method is any safer or less distracting than talking with a phone in your hand. The report also says that texting bans are proving to be difficult to enforce.

In this latest study, GHSA recommends states pass a complete ban on cellphone usage for novice drivers and a texting ban for all drivers. An earlier study by GHSA said it did not support a total ban of in-car phone usage and that texting bans may increase the amount of auto collisions.

Currently, 30 states and the District of Columbia ban cellphone use for novice drivers. Thirty-four states and the District ban texting for all drivers.

Gadgets tied to 25 percent of car crashes: report (Reuters, via MSNBC)

By Colin Bird | July 12, 2011 | Comments (9)

Comments 

People are hard to understand. Everyone knows that using mobile phones while driving can cause accidents, but why do they still do it?

Scott J.

I can see how this would be difficult to enforce. What constitutes "device use" if I'm in a car? talking on it? Picking it up to silence it? Having it in plain sight within the car?

It also seems a little unfair folks with the more expensive gadgets in their cars are exempt from getting ticketed because its "hands free".

I think we live in a culture where business people need to 'hit the ball over the net'. Teens consider it rude not to reply immediately to texts. Home schedules would grind to a halt without immediate communication. We are conditioned to pursue this level of efficiency but we are all supposed cease this behavior once we sit in our respective 5,000 pound pieces of steel and glass. Anyone can win an argument in a forum like this by saying "Just put the phone away" - but we can see its just not happening.

I just read that 72% of teens text daily - many text more 4000 times a month. New college students no longer have email addresses! They use texting and Facebook - even with their professors. This text and drive issue is in its infancy and I think we need to do more than legislate.

I decided to do something about distracted driving after my three year old daughter was nearly run down right in front of me by a texting driver. Instead of a shackle that locks down phones and alienates the user (especially teens) I built a tool called OTTER that is a simple GPS based texting auto reply app for smartphones. It also silences call ringtones while driving unless you have a bluetooth enabled. I think if we can empower the individual then change will come to our highways now and not just our laws.

Erik Wood, owner
OTTER LLC
OTTER app

It is really a very bad habit and must be restricted somewhere...
Good that District of Columbia ban cellphone use for novice drivers and others too.


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Lucas Brown

Look guys i use my mobile phone all the time, even when I'm not raging at kids on Xbox live. I mean who doesn't want Xbox in their car?

Most of the times due to such negligence, it costs someone really badly. There are restrictions in place but these things can't be monitored and that's the reason why I feel that it is more of a self realization on the part of drivers who don't feel responsible enough to follow such rules.

Its all about self awareness those who don't follow the rules always pay for it. Gov. always try to reduce such things by putting fine, punishments, etc. I feel sad for those who suffer due to such irresponsible people.

I am a consistent reader of these site. It always update the new topic which is beneficial for the people.

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