Cellphone use while driving is one of the most significant contributing factors in motor vehicle accidents in Ohio, yet the incidence is most likely underreported. However, a new technology may uncover whether more drivers use cell phones while driving, contributing to distraction.
Technology may provide more pertinent data
Roadside cameras and telematics from safe driver apps may be more accurate in showing who uses cell phones while driving, according to two recent studies conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Current methods don’t provide enough information about how drivers use their devices while in their vehicles. Most recent information comes from the Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) annual roadside survey that uses roadside observers at intersections to determine how many people pass them with cellphones held to their ears. This information only records drivers who are stopped at lights. Even less accurate information is available on the percentage of crashes related to cellphone use, as drivers are reluctant to tell police officers that they were distracted by their devices.
Roadside cameras combined with artificial intelligence could provide potentially more accurate data about the percentage of distracted drivers. Telematics information from users phones can record information like hard braking, speeding and other pertinent data.
Distraction is a leading cause of catastrophic accidents
Drivers not keeping their full attention on the road can cause catastrophic personal injuries resulting in extensive surgeries, years of rehabilitation and sometimes permanent disability. In addition to cellphone usage, music, talking and eating can frequently distract drivers.
Distracted driving is a form of negligence, causing drivers to speed, weave and otherwise cause accidents. Victims injured by distracted drivers may be eligible to file compensation claims and use the proceeds to pay for hospitalization, medical treatments, living expenses, lost wages and more during recovery.