About one in four drivers involved in a crash in recent months around the country were using a smartphone within one minute before the accident occurred, according to a new analysis of data from hundreds of thousands of drivers’ phones.
“I find that to be pretty scary,” said Sam Madden, founder and chief scientist at Cambridge Mobile Telematics, which announced its findings Monday.
“It may not be a super surprising, but still disturbing, trend: That people are using their phones a lot, and that’s playing a role in the accidents,” added Madden, who is also a computer science professor at MIT.
The company’s research also found that significant phone distraction occurred on nearly one-third of trips, regardless of whether they ended in an accident, and that significant distraction lasting more than one minute occurred on about one in every 10 trips.
On trips in which significant phone distraction occurred, 29 percent of the distraction occurred at speeds over 56 miles per hour.