A driving security association has warned that hands-free voice calls while driving could also be as risky.
The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) has formed a report summing up the distracted driving research based on study from more than 350 scientific papers.
As many as a quarter of crashes can be reasoned by cell phone-connected distractions, according to the group. It cites researches from Canada and Australia which show that hands-free calls are only as dangerous as regular ones.
Barbara Harsha, GHSA executive director says, “Despite all that has been written about driver distraction, there is still a lot that we do not know.”
She says what they do recognize is that interruptions affect driving performance and that drivers are unfocused as much as half the time. Furthermore, while phone calls boost the possibilities of a crash, texting raises it more.
Harsha says, “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.”
She says that texting and hand-held cell phone enforcement projects in New York and Connecticut are proving effective.
She says, “Our report includes the preliminary results of these cell phone crackdowns, which have prompted dramatic declines in hand-held cell phone use and texting behind the wheel.”
“The final results are expected shortly and should be considered as states move forward with education and enforcement initiatives.”