U.S. drivers take eyes off the road 10 percent of the time

BETHESDA, Md., Jan. 1 (UPI) — For 10 percent of the time U.S. drivers are behind the wheel their eyes are off the road due to eating, reaching for the phone or texting, researchers say.
Study co-author Bruce Simons-Morton of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development said the risks of distracted driving were greatest for newly licensed teen drivers, who were substantially more likely than adults to be involved in a crash or near miss while texting or engaging in tasks secondary to driving.

Simons-Morton collaborated with first author Sheila G. Klauer, Feng Guo, Suzie E. Lee and Tom A. Dingus; all of the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute in Blacksburg, and Marie Claude Ouimet now at the University of Sherbrooke in Canada.

The researchers found experienced adults were more than twice as likely to crash or have a near miss when dialing a cell phone as when they did not dial and drive, but did not have an increased risk while engaging in other tasks secondary to driving.

However, the study found distracted driving substantially increased the risks for new drivers. Compared to when they were not involved in secondary tasks, novice teen drivers were:

— Eight times more likely to crash or have a near miss when dialing.

— Seven to eight times more likely when reaching for a phone or other object.

— Almost four times more likely when texting, and three times more likely when eating.

Talking on a cell phone did not increase risk among the adult or teenage drivers. However, because talking on a cell phone is preceded by reaching for the phone and answering or dialing — which increase risk greatly — the study authors concluded that their results provide support for licensing programs that restrict electronic device use, particularly among novice drivers. They also stressed the need for education about the danger of distracted driving.

The findings were published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Article Source

Recent News

Flu Shots are Here

Why get the vaccine? Influenza (flu) is a very contagious disease. It is spread by coughing, sneezing, or nasal secretions. Children have the highest rates of infection. Infants, pregnant women, the elderly, and people with certain medical conditions are at…Read More

COVID appointments now available

Yale New Haven Health is now scheduling COVID shots for kids who are 6 months – 5 years of age.  To schedule your appointment, click here.

RECALL NOTICE

Abbott is initiating a proactive, voluntary recall of powder formulas, including Similac®, Alimentum® and EleCare® manufactured in Sturgis, Mich., one of the company’s manufacturing facilities. Check a multidigit number on the bottom of the container to know if your product…Read More

Essential Worker Day

Iona College is honoring essential workers on February 20 at the men’s basketball home game vs Fairfield University! Dubbing it “Essential Worker Day,” Iona is giving a special thank you to those who have bravely served both prior and throughout…Read More

COVID Vaccination for children 5-11 years of age

Exciting news!  The FDA and CDC approved Pfizer COVID vaccination for 5-11 year olds as of November 2nd, under Emergency Use Authorization.  This vaccine is 1/3 the dose given to adolescents and adults.    The vaccine will be given as…Read More