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IIHS Researches Ways to Limit Driving Distractions

Jonathan Hernandez6 months ago

April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month in the United States, and there are thousands of wrongful deaths every year that can be attributed to driving while distracted.

IIHS Searches for Answers to the Distracted Driving Problem

As we’ve discussed through the month, using the cellphone while driving is one of the most dangerous and distracting things you can do while operating a motor vehicle. Many state and local governments have implemented measures to help regulate the use of cellphones on the road, and while studies have revealed that cellphone use has gone down in those areas, the fact of the matter is that there are still far too many people who use the phone and drive at the same time, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

It’s well-known that using the phone while behind the wheel distracts a driver and reduces the driver’s reaction time and increases risk of being involved in an accident.

A New Study

A collaboration between the NHTSA and the VTTI involved the study and the monitoring of 105 drivers from Virginia for a year. The study found that the most distracting activity while driving is actually interacting with a passenger, followed by using the cellphone while driving.

Other dangerous activities that drivers did were:

  • Smoking
  • Eating
  • Adjusting radio and climate controls

The study further revealed that drivers did attempt to compensate when they used the cellphone, for example, many of the drivers did attempt to slow their speed when answering a phone call. Whether or not this was done on purpose or subconsciously is not yet known.

Perhaps the best and most effective thing that can be done to limit the amount of distractions for drivers is a combination of measures to discourage distracting behaviors while driving.


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