L.A. Traffic Safety: You May Just be a Bad Driver

December 31, 1969

Cell phone and text messaging bans don't work. At least that is what researchers are saying. According to ScienceNow, drivers who use their cell phones behind the wheel are already unsafe drivers before they even get their hands on a cell phone.

The recent study showed that drivers who use cell phones behind the wheel engage in dangerous driving behaviors more often than those who are hesitant to use a phone behind the wheel. This, researchers believe, is one of the main reasons why bans on cell phones for drivers are not bringing down the number of these accidents like officials had originally hoped.
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In the recent study, close to 110 drivers were split up into two groups: frequent cell phone-using drivers and those who rarely used a cell phone while driving. Both groups were equipped with SUVs that came tricked out with monitoring equipment so that researchers could record the driver's and the vehicle's every move. The test was only 40 minutes long, but it told researchers a lot about the habits of drivers, with and without cell phones.

Our Los Angeles car accident lawyers understand that distracted driving car accidents continue to be a top cause of motor vehicle accidents in this country. This new study proves that it might not be the cell phones that are causing these accidents. The drivers who more frequently used their cell phones behind the wheel were more likely to speed, were more likely to change lanes erratically and were more likely to slam on the pedals, whether the brake of the gas.

"The fundamental problem may be the behavior of the individuals willing to pick up the technology," says the leader of the study, Bryan Reimer, engineer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Researchers says that the differences in these drivers may have been a little more subtle than they had imagined, but there were clear differences that can help to explain why the number of car accidents continue to be higher even though a number of studies say fewer drivers are messing with a cell phone behind the wheel.

This study was recently published in the Accident Analysis & Prevention. While there's no doubt in anyone's head that distractions, especially cell phones and text messaging devices, significantly increase a driver's risk for an accident, these new findings help to explain why these drivers are always at such a high risk for accidents.

While safe driving advocates usually ask drivers to keep the distractions out of the driver's seat, they may have to start attacking dangerous driving habits with a wider net. The bottom line is that driving is a privilege and it's oftentimes abused. You want to make sure that not only are you leaving your cell phone alone behind the wheel, but that you're also obeying all traffic laws and that you're driving defensively. There should never be a good time to take your eyes off of the road, your hands off of the wheel or your mind off of driving. One wrong move behind the wheel could potentially cost you your life or you could wind up taking the life of another innocent traveler.

If you or someone you love has been injured or killed in a traffic accident, contact personal injury lawyer Vincent Howard today for a free and confidential consultation. Call (800) 872-5925.

Additional Resources:

Why Cell Phone Bans Don't Work, by Carol Cruzan Morton, ScienceNow

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