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Cell phones behind 1/4 of all car accidents, says study

Posted On Wed, January 13, 2010

A new study from the National Safety Council is further underscoring many interest groups' and politicians' attempts to ban cell phone use while driving in order to make the roads a safer place while likely lowering auto insurance premiums for many as well..

The study, which was released on Tuesday, found that at least 1.6 million car accidents per year - or nearly 28 percent - were caused because of a driver who was either talking on a cell phone or texting while behind the wheel.

The NCS further estimated that 1.4 million of the accidents were caused by drivers talking on their phone, while 200,000 were caused by texting.

"This new estimate provides critical data for legislators, business leaders and individuals to evaluate the threat and need for legislation, business policies and personal actions to prevent cell phone use and texting while driving," Froetscher said. "There was great progress made in 2009, particularly regarding a broad recognition that texting is dangerous. We now need the same broad consensus that recognizes cell phone use while driving causes even more crashes."

The new study from the NSC comes one year after it initially called for a ban of all cell phone use while behind the wheel.

The study comes on the heels of a somewhat contradictory report from the North Carolina Highway Safety Research Center that argued drivers became more distracted by environmental factors around them than by a cell phone.

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