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      Distracted driving and risk of road crashes among novice and experienced drivers.

      The New England journal of medicine

      Accidents, Traffic, statistics & numerical data, Adolescent, Adult, Attention, Automobile Driving, psychology, Cell Phones, Female, Humans, Male, Psychomotor Performance, Risk, Text Messaging, United States

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          Abstract

          Distracted driving attributable to the performance of secondary tasks is a major cause of motor vehicle crashes both among teenagers who are novice drivers and among adults who are experienced drivers. We conducted two studies on the relationship between the performance of secondary tasks, including cell-phone use, and the risk of crashes and near-crashes. To facilitate objective assessment, accelerometers, cameras, global positioning systems, and other sensors were installed in the vehicles of 42 newly licensed drivers (16.3 to 17.0 years of age) and 109 adults with more driving experience. During the study periods, 167 crashes and near-crashes among novice drivers and 518 crashes and near-crashes among experienced drivers were identified. The risk of a crash or near-crash among novice drivers increased significantly if they were dialing a cell phone (odds ratio, 8.32; 95% confidence interval [CI], 2.83 to 24.42), reaching for a cell phone (odds ratio, 7.05; 95% CI, 2.64 to 18.83), sending or receiving text messages (odds ratio, 3.87; 95% CI, 1.62 to 9.25), reaching for an object other than a cell phone (odds ratio, 8.00; 95% CI, 3.67 to 17.50), looking at a roadside object (odds ratio, 3.90; 95% CI, 1.72 to 8.81), or eating (odds ratio, 2.99; 95% CI, 1.30 to 6.91). Among experienced drivers, dialing a cell phone was associated with a significantly increased risk of a crash or near-crash (odds ratio, 2.49; 95% CI, 1.38 to 4.54); the risk associated with texting or accessing the Internet was not assessed in this population. The prevalence of high-risk attention to secondary tasks increased over time among novice drivers but not among experienced drivers. The risk of a crash or near-crash among novice drivers increased with the performance of many secondary tasks, including texting and dialing cell phones. (Funded by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.).

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          Most cited references 10

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          Association between cellular-telephone calls and motor vehicle collisions.

          Because of a belief that the use of cellular telephones while driving may cause collisions, several countries have restricted their use in motor vehicles, and others are considering such regulations. We used an epidemiologic method, the case-crossover design, to study whether using a cellular telephone while driving increases the risk of a motor vehicle collision. We studied 699 drivers who had cellular telephones and who were involved in motor vehicle collisions resulting in substantial property damage but no personal injury. Each person's cellular-telephone calls on the day of the collision and during the previous week were analyzed through the use of detailed billing records. A total of 26,798 cellular-telephone calls were made during the 14-month study period. The risk of a collision when using a cellular telephone was four times higher than the risk when a cellular telephone was not being used (relative risk, 4.3; 95 percent confidence interval, 3.0 to 6.5). The relative risk was similar for drivers who differed in personal characteristics such as age and driving experience; calls close to the time of the collision were particularly hazardous (relative risk, 4.8 for calls placed within 5 minutes of the accident, as compared with 1.3 for calls placed more than 15 minutes before the accident; P<0.001); and units that allowed the hands to be free (relative risk, 5.9) offered no safety advantage over hand-held units (relative risk, 3.9; P not significant). Thirty-nine percent of the drivers called emergency services after the collision, suggesting that having a cellular telephone may have had advantages in the aftermath of an event. The use of cellular telephones in motor vehicles is associated with a quadrupling of the risk of a collision during the brief time interval involving a call. Decisions about regulation of such telephones, however, need to take into account the benefits of the technology and the role of individual responsibility.
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            Role of mobile phones in motor vehicle crashes resulting in hospital attendance: a case-crossover study.

            To explore the effect of drivers' use of mobile (cell) phones on road safety. A case-crossover study. Perth, Western Australia. 456 drivers aged > or = 17 years who owned or used mobile phones and had been involved in road crashes necessitating hospital attendance between April 2002 and July 2004. Driver's use of mobile phone at estimated time of crash and on trips at the same time of day in the week before the crash. Interviews with drivers in hospital and phone company's records of phone use. Driver's use of a mobile phone up to 10 minutes before a crash was associated with a fourfold increased likelihood of crashing (odds ratio 4.1, 95% confidence interval 2.2 to 7.7, P or = 30 and < 30 years. A third (n = 21) of calls before crashes and on trips during the previous week were reportedly on hand held phones. When drivers use a mobile phone there is an increased likelihood of a crash resulting in injury. Using a hands-free phone is not any safer.
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              Effects of visual and cognitive load in real and simulated motorway driving

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                24382065
                4183154
                10.1056/NEJMsa1204142

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