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Auto Accidents

What the Research Says About Distracted Driving

November 14, 2013 | Michael Barasch

Distracted driving is a hot topic, and it should be. The notion that it is dangerous to operate a vehicle when your mind, eyes and hands are engaged elsewhere is pretty straightforward. Because we represent drivers injured or killed by distracted drivers, the issue is even more important, so we keep an eye on the research, even if we don’t agree with it. 

A recent study suggests that using a cell phone does not increase your chances of an accident. The study conducted by Carnegie Mellon University and the London School of Economics and Political Science looked at data from calls transferred between cell towers during an 11-day period in 2005 in a metropolitan region of California. Points of the study and its results include the following: 

  • The study examined calls made at around 9:00 p.m. on the assumption that cell phone calls spike as calling plans turn over to unlimited minutes at that hour.
  • Researchers screened for calls that appeared to be moving between cell towers, which indicated motorist use of cell phones.
  • By comparing crash data with cell phone use during that period, study authors concluded that cell phone use does not cause an increase in automobile collisions. 

Published in August of this year in the American Economic Journal, the study notes that a unique approach and novel data were used to reach the conclusions. Other recent research on distracted driving includes a Texas A & M Transportation Institute Study that mirrored earlier findings by the Automobile Association of America (AAA) indicating that using voice-to-text or hands-free devices are equally dangerous, if not more so, than using handheld cell phones while driving. New York law does not currently ban hands-free devices while driving. 

We all know driving distracted is dangerous. If you have questions after an accident with a distracted driver, seek reputable legal advice about your options in New York.

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