Want to Improve Road Safety? Don't Touch That Phone

A new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine examines which types of distractions lead to the most collisions. Researchers found that dialing while driving is the biggest safety hazard.

"The next time you’re tempted to make a phone call while you’re behind the wheel, remember this: Dialing while driving increases the risk of a crash or near-crash more than any other sort of distraction," writes Karen Kaplan. That's one of the key findings made by researchers who used a variety of technologies to study the behavior of drivers young and old.

"Compared to periods when they weren’t distracted, the odds of of a novice driver getting into a crash or near-crash were 8.32 higher when they were dialing a cellphone; 8 times higher when reaching for something besides their cellphone; 7.05 times higher when trying to grab the phone; 3.9 times higher when looking at something on the side of the road (including cars involved in other crashes); and 2.99 times higher when eating," notes Kaplan. 

"For the experienced drivers, the only activity that increased the risk of a crash or near-crash risk was dialing a cellphone. That made drivers 2.49 times more likely to get into trouble behind the wheel, according to the study results."

Full Story: Dialing while behind the wheel is riskiest form of distracted driving

Comments

Prepare for the AICP Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $245
Planetizen Courses image ad

Planetizen Courses

Advance your career with subscription-based online courses tailored to the urban planning professional.
Starting at $16.95 a month

Stay thirsty, urbanists

These sturdy water bottles are eco-friendly and perfect for urbanists on the go.
$19.00
Book cover of Unsprawl

Unsprawl: Remixing Spaces as Places

Explore visionary, controversial and ultimately successful strategies for building people-centered places.
Starting at $12.95