Texting And Driving is a Real Problem
A recent study by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences captured some important data when the organization used on board video cameras and sensors to monitor driver’s behaviours. The study conducted over a three-year period gathered data from over 3,500 drivers, and the findings were nothing short of eye-opening.
The in-depth study revealed that many “secondary tasks” related to using a hand-held electronic device are a detriment to driver safety. The researchers reviewed data from over 900 crashes and found that there was a dramatic change in crash causation in the past few years. Driver-related factors including distractions, impairment, fatigue and driver error
Driver-Related Factors Implicated in 90 Percent of Crashes
According to the research results, driver distraction is detrimental to driver safety with cell phones and handheld devices being the highest used items with the greatest risk. The findings of the research concluded that dialing a cell phone while driving was the most dangerous distraction, increasing the risk of a crash by twelve times.
Additional findings of the study included:
1. Reaching for an item other than an electronic device can increase crash risk by nine times.
2. Texting while driving increased the risk of a collision by six times.
3. Reaching for a phone increased the risk of a crash by five times.
4. Reading an email or browsing on a phone increased the risk of a crash by three times.
5. Being angry while driving or even crying was enough of a distraction to increase the chance of a collision by ten times.
Distracted Driving Alarming Study Results
The study revealed that the subject drivers were distracted for more than half of their trips as some point while driving. This alarming conclusion found that distracted driving behaviour doubled the risk of a crash.
The study results may be considered disturbing but not surprising. Drivers continue to engage in distracted behaviour while driving. Young Drivers of Canada encourages drivers to focus on the road and enjoy the privilege of driving. If tempted, drivers should lock their electronic devices in the truck or turn them off completely. Drivers continue to think that they can multitask while driving yet the results of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences tell us otherwise!