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Some improvements seen in distracted driving

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California was one of the first states in the nation to crack down on the use of cell phones while driving. However, distracted driving accidents have continued to plague the state and the country as a whole as people find it hard to put their phones away while behind the wheel. New statistics released from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show that a National Occupant Proection Use Survey seems to indicate some improvement in getting people to do just this.

Between 2014 and 2015, the survey found that the percent of people found to hold their phones to their ears and talk while driving actually reduced. In that same timeframe, there was no change in the percent of drivers who were manually using their phones in other ways such as texting. While this is not a decrease, it is also not an increase.

More drivers were found to be visibly using headsets to keep their hands off of their phones. The use of headsets may be somewhat positive but also does not reflect the percent of drivers who rely on technology built into their vehicles to talk while driving in a hands-free mode.

That said, Distraction.gov makes it clear that hands-free use of a phone while driving is not risk-free use. Even if hands are able to remain on the wheel and eyes on the road, a driver's attention can still be diverted which may increase the chance of a poor reaction time or other unsafe maneuver that may make an accident more likely.

 

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