Study Determines Just How Risky It Is to Text and Drive

- Charles Argento

As both the use of smart phones and the rate of fatal motor vehicle accidents increase across the US, it doesn’t feel like a shocking statement to say that using a phone while driving is a dangerous activity. That said, there has not been much high-quality research done on just how problematic it is for drivers to talk, text, or email while they’re on the road. A team of researchers seeking to change this fact has recently released the results of a years-long study of the impact of cell phone use on crash rates. Read on to learn more about the results of this study, and contact a seasoned Houston personal injury lawyer with any questions after a Texas distracted driver crash.

Video captures drivers distracted by their phones before a crash

The newly-published study was released by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. The research was conducted by using video footage taken from inside the passenger cabin of over 3,000 participating drivers’ vehicles over the course of several years. The researchers studied the footage to identify what sorts of behaviors drivers engaged in prior to a crash, and they used this information to calculate the increased crash rate based on the particular behavior. For example, researchers calculated crash rates for drivers who were engaging in phone use that required the driver to look at and touch their phones (such as texting, emailing, or browsing the internet), hands-free phone conversations, and handheld phone conversations, as well as crash rates where drivers weren’t distracted at the time of the crash.

According to their results, drivers who were engaged in a visual and manual task on their phones had a crash risk that was up to eight times higher than if they were paying attention to the road. Drivers who talked on their phone had a four-times-higher crash risk, and researchers found no difference between the risk of a crash for drivers who talked on the phone while holding the phone versus using a hands-free device. This type of research can be helpful in proving an at-fault driver’s liability for damages in a crash. Your personal injury attorney can use such research to show the recklessness of the decision to text or email behind the wheel, despite the widespread knowledge that these actions put neighboring drivers at serious risk of being hurt in an accident.

If you’ve been injured in a Texas traffic accident caused by a distracted driver, contact the knowledgeable and dedicated Houston personal injury attorney Charles J. Argento for a free consultation at 713-225-5050.