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Distracted Driving Causes More Accidents Than Conversation

Posted On behalf of Michael D'Amico of D'Amico & Pettinicchi, LLC on Jan 06, 2014 in Car Accidents

Connecticut residents may be interested to learn of a recent study conducted by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute. The study reiterated what many people may already know, which is that texting, dialing a phone or even reaching for a phone while driving can cause car accidents. However, this study, unlike many others, found that the mere fact of talking on the phone did not produce an increased risk.

The study did not distinguish between conversations on hands-free versus hand-held devices, which has led to some criticism. In addition, the acts of reaching for and dialing a phone require drivers to take their eyes off the road, so making calls while driving is still dangerous. Previous research had suggested that merely being on the phone led drivers to engage in riskier driving behaviors, especially teenagers. While teenagers are only six percent of drivers, they cause 10 percent of all traffic deaths and 14 percent of all reported accidents with injuries. Research shows that a young driver is four times as likely to be in a car accident when sending or receiving a text message and seven times more likely to be in an accident while dialing or reaching for the phone.

To perform the study, researchers installed video cameras, lane trackers, speed and acceleration gadgets, GPS units and other devices in the cars of participating drivers. The study tracked 42 teenage drivers with new licenses and 109 adults who had driven for an average of 20 years.

A person who causes a car accident while texting or dialing the phone may be liable to anyone injured for damages. A personal injury lawyer may be able to help injured parties seek compensation for their medical bills, lost work, property damage and more.

Source: CBS News, "Distracted driving study: Cell phone dialing, texting dangerous. Talking? Less so.", January 02, 2014