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Study confirms the obvious: chatting behind the wheel is dangerous

Evan Blass

A new study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Virgina Tech Transportation Institute using vehicle-embedded sensors and videocams has confirmed what most of us already knew, which is that talking on your cellphone make you more susceptible to getting in an accident. Of the 82 crashes and 761 "near misses" experienced by 241 drivers over the course of the yearlong study, dialing and talking on a cellphone were the second and third most common causes, respectively, after drowsiness. Moreover, dialing a phone nearly triples your chances of getting into an accident, concluded the study, which showed that driving distractions in general played a role in almost 80% of the accidents recorded. If proof like this doesn't shock legislators into addressing this problem, our only hope seems to be voluntary measures adopted by wireless carriers, such as the clever audible stoplight alert system we brought you yesterday.

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