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Research shows direct link between texting and car accidents

If you've suffered as the victim of a car crash with someone who was on his or her phone at the time, you're probably all too familiar with the problems texting and driving can cause. Multitasking with a cellphone is incredibly difficult, and that's one of the reasons using them to text while driving has been outlawed in many states.

According to an article published on March 25, research is being published that actually shows the moments before a car crash. The study required teens between the ages of 16 and 19 to install cameras in their vehicles. Then, when there was an accident, the researchers could review what exactly happened prior to the crash. In many of the videos, the teenagers became consumed by their devices, eventually being shocked back to real life when their vehicles crashed into other cars or went off the road.

By looking at the videos, researchers were able to determine that out of close to 1,700 crashes, around 60 percent of the moderate and severe crashes were caused by distractions. In 12 percent of the cases reviewed, cellphones were involved. Interestingly, cellphones weren't the highest risk factor. It was passengers interacting with the driver who were creating the highest risk; 15 percent of the wrecks involved that scenario.

It's been suggested that states implement laws to restrict the number of non-family member passengers in the vehicle with a teen driver, and texting is illegal in most states, including Iowa. Despite this, many drivers still ignore the rules, and that led to dozens of accidents in the study and even more that weren't recorded.

Source: The New York Times, "Car Crash Videos Highlight Risk of Multitasking With Phones" Matt Richtel, Mar. 25, 2015

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