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New England Journal of Medicine Publishes Cell Phone Distraction Study

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 1/5/2014 Edward A. Sanchez
Cell Phone Use While Driving© Provided by MotorTrend Cell Phone Use While Driving

You probably don't need an academic study to tell you that mobile phones are a major source of distraction for drivers on the road. People stopped at the green light well after it's turned, lane-weavers, drivers driving 10 mph below the limit or numerous other manifestations of distracted driving have only gotten worse over the past decade as mobile phones have become a ubiquitous item owned by the majority of drivers on the road. The New England Journal of Medicine published a report identifying the major distractions in a car, and a comparative analysis of novice drivers and more experienced drivers.

Unsurprisingly, the novice drivers were much more likely to become distracted by use of mobile phones in the car, on average three to five times more likely to be involved in a crash or near-crash through dialing or reaching for a phone. However, the data is not exactly representative of the current ubiquity of smartphones, with the two components of the study being conducted from June 2006 through September 2008, and the other from January 2003 through July 2004. The Apple iPhone was released to the public in June 2007. Built-in Bluetooth hands-free connectivity and dialing also did not start to become common in cars until mid-decade, two advancements that could have a bearing on driver distraction, both positive and negative.

If you want to take a deep dive into the methodology and statistics in the study, you can check out the study at the link below.

Source: New England Journal of Medicine


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