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Study Shows Dangers of Phone Use While Driving

Posted on in Car Accidents

Phone Use Increases Risk of Car AccidentsIllinois law makes it illegal to use a handheld cell phone while driving, but how much safer are the roads? Statistics from the Illinois Department of Transportation show that the number of fatal crashes have increased the past couple of years. Distracted driving is still thought to be a major cause of car accidents, and a recent study released by Cambridge Mobile Technologies suggests that phone use is a particular problem. The smartphone applications company conducted a national study of hundreds of thousands of drivers, which yielded the following data:

More Than Half of Crashes Result from Distracted Driving

Specifically, the study said that 25 percent of the drivers involved in crashes had been using their phone within a minute of the crash. Further breaking down the habits of distracted drivers, statistics showed:

  • The drivers involved in distracted driving crashes were distracted by their phones for an average of 135 seconds.
  • Twenty-nine percent of the drivers distracted by their phones were driving at a speed greater than 56 miles per hour.

Cambridge Mobile Technologies concluded that cell phone distractions while driving can more than triple the risk of causing a crash.

Cell Phone Laws Not Changing Driver Habits

The study compared how often drivers were distracted by their phones in states than ban handheld cellphone use versus states that do not. It found that:

  • Drivers were distracted for an average of 3.17 minutes for every 100 miles in states with the law; and
  • Drivers were distracted for an average of 3.82 minutes for every 100 miles in states without the law.

Cambridge Mobile Technologies claims that the minuscule difference in distraction time between the states could be because the penalties for distracted driving are not severe enough or the law needs to be better enforced. Some organizations would like to take the law further and ban hands-free cellphone use while driving.

Other Distractions

While the Cambridge Mobile Technologies study focused on phone use, there are several ways drivers can become distracted in their vehicles, including:

  • Adjusting dials on the dashboard control panel;
  • Attending to children in the car;
  • Eating and drinking while driving; and
  • Taking care of personal appearance and hygiene.

If there is a task you need to complete while driving, wait until you can stop somewhere safe.

Personal Injury

If you were hurt in a car accident caused by the other driver being distracted, you may be able to receive civil damages for driver negligence. Contact a McHenry County personal injury attorney at Botto Gilbert Lancaster, PC to discuss your case.



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