Research indicates dialing and driving is the most dangerous distraction

For drivers across the country, having a cellphone is convenient. While drivers are on the go, they can easily get in touch with a friend, a client or a child at home. But, cellphones, while convenient, are a highly dangerous distraction for drivers of all ages and a leading cause of car accidents. To combat this driving risk, it is illegal for drivers in West Virginia to text and drive simultaneously, says distraction.gov.

A greater risk than texting

Because texting and driving is illegal, many drivers often forget that other forms of distracted driving, like dialing on their phone to make a call, are also equally, if not more, dangerous. According to research recently published in the New England Journal of Medicine, dialing a number on a cellphone while driving raises the risk of the driver crashing more than any other type of distraction.

In order to come to this conclusion, researchers involved in the study put radar, four cameras, GPS systems, accelerometers and a variety of other equipment in the cars of 42 drivers who had recently obtained their licenses and 109 other drivers who had been driving for at least 20 years. Each driver was monitored for a period of 12 to 18 months. At the end of the study, the only activity that increased the risk of a near-risk or an actual crash for the more experienced driving group was dialing on their phone, which made them 2.49 times more likely to crash.

The youngest population of distracted drivers

For the novice drivers, the study found that they got into more trouble when they tried to do something else besides devote all of their attention to driving. The study discovered that the more inexperienced drivers:

  • Had an 8.32 higher chance of getting in a crash while dialing on a cellphone.
  • Raised their chances of crashing by 8 when they tried to reach for something in the car.
  • Increased their accident chances by 7.05 when they were reaching for their phone.
  • Had accident rates that were 3.9 times higher when they looked at something on the side of the road.
  • Were 2.99 times more likely to crash when eating and driving.

In the U.S., many teenagers get their driver's licenses without having very much experience, making it more difficult for them to handle a distraction while driving. According to distraction.gov, 11 percent of all drivers under the age of 20 involved in a fatal crash were reported as being distracted at the time of the accident, making them the largest proportion of drivers that drive distracted.

If you were injured in an accident caused by a distracted driver, you may be feeling hurt, confused and unsure of what to do next. Consult with an attorney in your area to determine what legal actions you should take next.