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A new study has found that in the minute before a crash happened, one in four drivers were using a cellphone. The study was conducted by Cambridge Mobile Telematics, a company that makes driving applications that monitor driving habits for car insurance companies.
More than 100,000 drivers were observed by Cambridge Mobile Telematics over 18 months. The study revealed that 52 percent of car accidents involved a distracted driver and that the top ten percent of distracted drivers were 2.3 times more likely to be involved in a crash. The average time spent distracted before the crash occurred was two minutes and 15 seconds. Since 2015, traffic fatalities have been on the rise, increasing by more than 14 percent. Some of this can be accounted for by lower gas prices and the resulting larger numbers of drivers out on the road, but groups like the National Safety Council and the Governors Highway Safety Association cite cellphone use as a major concern.
In states with laws against using a cellphone while driving, there was some, but not much decrease in phone use compared to states that have no cellphone laws. Illinois bans hand held phone usage and there, drivers spent 3.17 minutes per 100 miles on the phone, versus 3.82 minutes by drivers in states where no cellphone ban is in effect. The chief technology officer at Cambridge Mobile concludes that enforcement is the real problem when it comes to distracted driving.
Illinois state troopers have issued just over 31,000 tickets for hand held phone use since the ban took effect in 2014. The troopers say that spotting offenders is easy, but for every one car stopped, ten more go by and get away. They feel they do not have the man power to enforce the cell phone ban.
Cambridge Mobile’s app monitors driver habits by recording speed, hard braking and phone use using the phone’s accelerometer, GPS and gyroscope. When the car travels more than nine mph and the phone is moving around, the app identifies that as distracted driving. Dashboard mounted phones and cellphone usage at stop signs do not register. The driver can get valuable feedback about mistakes they made and how to improve. The app can also be used to incentivize safe driving. Some car insurance companies offer cash incentives to their customers who can raise their safe-driving scores using the app. Cambridge says that drivers who used their DriveWell app saw a reduction of 35 percent in cell phone use after 30 days.
If you have been injured in a car accident caused by a distracted driver or another form of negligence, contact a Bear car accident lawyer from Rhoades & Morrow to discuss your legal options. Our experienced team will work tirelessly on your behalf to ensure you are compensated fairly for your injuries. Call us today at 302-834-8484 or complete our online contact form to schedule your free initial consultation. We have convenient locations in Bear, Wilmington, and Milford to serve you. Our attorneys provide representation to clients throughout the state of Delaware.