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