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Hands-free cell phones still a danger; distracted driving a leading cause of Massachusetts car accidents

The National Safety Council has released one of the most comprehensive reports to date on the dangers of cell phone use by drivers. Distracted driving continues to be one of the leading causes of Massachusetts car accidents.

As we reported on our Boston Car Accident Lawyer Blog, the federal government estimates that 6,000 people a year are killed and more than 500,000 are injured in distracted driving accidents.

Distractions now join alcohol and speeding as the leading factors in serious car accidents. Among the reports findings:

Distracted Driving: 28 percent of all crashes in 2008 were attributed to cell phone use, causing 1.6 million crashes and 645,000 injuries. Drivers using a cell phone are four times more likely to be involved in a crash.

Cell Phone Use:11 percent of drivers are using a cell phone at any given time. 81 percent of drivers admit to using a cell phone while behind the wheel.

Text Messaging:
18 percent of drivers admit to text messaging while driving. The rate is highest among teen drivers (36 percent) and Gen Y drivers (39 percent).

Hands Free Devices: Offer no safety benefit.

“Cell phone use while driving has become a serious public health threat,” said Janet Froetscher, NSC president and CEO. “Several states and municipalities have passed legislation allowing hands-free devices while driving. These laws give the false impression that hands-free phones are a safe alternative, when the evidence is clear they are not. Understanding the distraction of the brain will help people make the right decision and put down their cell phones while driving.”

If you have been injured in a Boston car accident or an accident elsewhere in Massachusetts, contact the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman for a free and confidential appointment to discuss your rights. Call 877-617-5333.