Driving under the (Cellular) Influence

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© Minerva Studio I recently read about a study that was put on by Carnegie Mellon University pertaining to texting and driving.  The findings were quite surprising.  According to the study, there is no relationship between a driver speaking on a cell phone and the number of car accidents in the United States.
 
Researchers focused on why the prevalence of cell phone ownership has increased steadily over the past thirty years or so, yet the number of crashes per vehicle mile traveled in the United States has not followed suit. In fact, it’s decreased, which doesn’t appear to make sense alongside accompanying research that indicates up to four-fifths or so of cell phone owners hop on their devices while they’re driving.  The researchers looked at cellphone usage after 9 p.m., which is when there is a significant increase of cellphone use. Yet despite the increase in such cellphone usage, there was no corresponding increase in car accidents.  In fact, the study also examined states which banned cellphone use while driving, and found no reductions in the number of car accidents. 

Related Post: Cell Phones Play a Large Role in Pedestrian Accidents

The researchers present three theories as to why cell phone use while driving might not be as dangerous as it’s thought to be: First, that drivers simply drive more carefully when they’re chatting on their phones. It’s also possible that drivers are, in general, used to driving with distractions “ be it jamming to the radio, talking to friends, or what-have-you “ and cell phone use is just a derivative of that, with no additional risk involved. Finally, Bhargava and Panthania suggest that it’s possible that cell phones negatively affect some drivers behind the wheel, but are “beneficial for other drivers or under alternative driving conditions.”. While the results of the study are certainly interesting, as Florida personal injury attorneys, we believe drivers should keep their eyes on the road and their hands on the wheel at all times.

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