Cellphone use has played a large role in car accidents in Massachusetts, and previous studies have said that cellphone use is one of the most common causes of distracted driving in the U.S. Despite these previous claims, a new study is questioning the dangerous impact cellphones may have on car accidents.
A new study is claiming that cellphone use and laws that ban cellphone use while driving do not reduce the risks of being in a car accident, according to research by Carnegie Melon University and the London School of Economics and Political Science.
The researchers said that cellphone use did not contribute to a higher risk of getting into a car accident. The researchers studied accident reports from nine states in the U.S. and compared them to cellphone data and found that cellphone use did not affect crash rates.
In addition to reporting that cellphone use may not increase the chances of crashing, they also reported that state laws banning cellphone use did not lead to fewer car accidents.
The researchers said that one reason why cellphone use did not increase the risk of car accidents in their study could be due to people driving more carefully when they are on the phone or drivers may decide to make a call when there is less traffic. The researchers did point out that they only studied drivers who talked on a cellphone, not texting or browsing the Internet while driving.
Despite the study's findings, previous studies have shown the serious risks of using a cellphone behind the wheel. Talking on a cellphone is dangerous because it requires the driver to multitask by trying to have a conversation while also concentrating on the road.
Any cellphone use behind the wheel is dangerous and can increase the chances of being in a car accident. In addition, drivers in Massachusetts should follow state laws on cellphone use while driving and take steps to reduce their risk of being in a car accident.
Source: UPI, "Study contradicts assumption cellphone use increases car accidents," Aug. 8, 2013