25% of car accidents are because of gadgets

In a recent study by the Governors Highway Safety Association, driving distractions such as cell phones and other electronic devices, cause as much as 25% of all US car accidents. It is common knowledge that driving while distracted is not a safe thing to do, but now we have some scientific data that goes in-depth on the topic.

The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) is a nonprofit research group that works to improve traffic safety. Research was calculated via 350 scientific papers published since 2000.

The study (pdf) talks about how distractions affect our driving performance and how drivers are typically distracted most of time. One thing that stood out of the report was the claim that being distracted was the cause of 15 to 25% of all accidents ranging from minor property damage to death.

"Despite all that has been written about driver distraction, there is still a lot that we do not know, Much of the research is incomplete or contradictory. Clearly, more studies need to be done addressing both the scope of the problem and how to effectively address it," said GHSA Executive Director Barbara Harsha.

GHSA Executive Director Barbara Harsha stressed, "While distracted driving is an emotional issue that raises the ire of many on the road, states must take a research-based approach to addressing the problem. Until more research is conducted, states need to proceed thoughtfully, methodically and objectively."

The study suggests that distracted driving accidents be reported in accident reports to assist in evaluating distracted driving laws and programs. The study also suggests to create low-cost roadway measures that alert motorists when they are drifting out of their driving lane. The study also suggests that all cell phones be banned on the road, even hands free. Yeah, good luck with that one!

In fact, according to the study, there is no evidence that cellphone or texting bans have reduced crashes.

Do you guys tend to fiddle with the in-dash GPS, read or send a text message while driving, or play around with your iPod in the car while driving? Post your comments below!

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