Newly released information from the National Safety Council indicates that cell phone use is involved in 26% of all motor vehicle crashes. The NSC estimates that 21% of all crashes involve drivers talking on handheld or hands-free cellphones, and 5% result from texting while driving.
California law bans the use of handheld cell phones and texting while driving. Novice drivers are also restricted from hands-free cell phone use. Such restrictions seem intuitive, however a number of studies have shown that hands-free phones are just as dangerous as handhelds. Even more troubling, the move toward voice recognition in cell phones appears to be even more dangerous than talking, hands-free or otherwise.
Even hands-free cell phone use while driving is shown to be as dangerous as drunk driving. Text messaging is even worse, doubling the risk of a crash, and resulting in drivers taking their eyes off the road for an average of 23 seconds in total per text.
The danger of distraction related injury does not end once the car is parked. Distracted walking is also an under reported and growing danger. One surprising study has shown that distracted walking results in even more injuries per mile than distracted driving!
With smart phones becoming increasingly prevalent in daily life its easy to forget the risks they pose. The evidence is clear, whether driving or walking, keep your head out of your phone and your eyes on where you’re going.
–National Safety Council – 2014 Injury Facts
–California Highway Safety Laws
-LA Times: “AAA Study On Cell Phones In Cars “Hands-Free Is Not Risk Free”
-Alcohol Problems & Solutions: “Cell Phone Use As Dangerous As Drunk Driving”
-Business Insider: “Talking On A Hands-Free Cell Phone While Driving Is As Bad As Driving Drunk”
-Virginia Tech: “VTTI Study Results Continue to Highlight the Dangers of Distracted Driving”
-CBS: “More than 1 in 4 Car Crashes Involve Cell Phone Use”
– News Medical: “Distracted Walking Results in More Injuries Per Mile Than Distracted Driving“