With the holiday season upon us and more wet and slippery weather to come, the amount of accidents will certainly increase. New York City of course sees its fair share and with the constant stop start traffic, drivers have another thing to contend with – their cell phones. It is so easy when you’re bored stuck in traffic to mess about on your phone, to text someone you’ll be late or call for business. The fact is, any use of a cell phone while driving will increase the chances of an accident.
A study backs this up. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) studied a group of some 6000 drivers. The two youngest age groups, 18-20 and 21-34 year olds both had a significant amount of drivers who actually believed that texting and driving was not a problem. In the youngest age group, 20% believed this and incredibly in the next group, 30% believed it. That in itself are two harrowing stats!
The study also confirmed that the youngest age groups were involved in the most accidents or near misses while the over 65s actually formed the lowest at risk from accidents.
Out of the 6000 surveyed, some 718 had an accident or near miss the previous year. Of those, 6% said they were using a phone at the time of the incident (either talking or texting). The youngest group saw the highest overall cell phone use at time of the incident at 13% while the next age group, the 21-34s had the highest instance of using their phones to talk when an accident occurred.
Moreover, one study found that hands free usage of cell phones doesn’t actually decrease chances of an accident compared to use of hands to text or call. This study by the Texas A&M Transportation Institute suggested that any form of distraction while driving is not good.
At the end of the day, if you must text or call someone, do so by pulling over safely and using your phone then and then go along your way after. Texting, calling, even hands free while driving will increase the odds of an accident. Add this to the change in weather over the next few months, and you have a recipe for disaster.
Simply put, drive when you are driving. Don’t worry about anything else.
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