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Researchers, Policy Groups Divided on How to Address Distracted Driving Risks

By Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S. on October 26, 2011

Distracted Driving AccidentsMany research studies recently have focused on distracted driving and how it contributes to car accident risks. Most studies agree that distracted driving increases the risk of a crash, and that the more distracted a driver is, the more likely he or she is to have an accident. A study completed by researchers at the University of Utah, for instance, found that drivers who text while driving show the same kinds of impairment as drivers with a 0.08 blood alcohol concentration – the legal limit for drunk driving.

However, when it comes to deciding what to do to decrease distracted driving, researchers and policymakers are uncertain. This is because there’s very little research on what kinds of policies actually decrease distracted driving risks. At least one study indicates that banning handheld cell phone use actually increases the risk of an accident, as drivers may attempt to conceal their cell phone use while driving, a task that takes additional attention away from the road.

Another study performed by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) found that cell phone use in cars decreased in areas where cell phone use by drivers was prohibited. However, the researchers weren’t sure whether crash rates went down as well. Since police rarely get cell phone records after an accident and drivers are hesitant to admit they were distracted during a crash, it can be difficult to get accurate data to study, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). More research is needed to determine the best ways to decrease distracted driving and the increased risk of accidents that come with it.

Distracted driving accidents can cause serious injuries. If you’ve been injured by a distracted driver, the experienced distracted driving accident attorneys in Seattle at Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S. can help you determine what happened and seek compensation from any responsible parties. For a free and confidential consultation, please call us today at (888) 228-3860.

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