News | Distracted Driving

Using phones can both cause and save us from car crashes, study finds

Road Show by CNET
April 3, 2017

We all know phones can contribute to behind-the-wheel distraction that may prove deadly, but perhaps some more concrete figures will finally convince you to keep the darn phone down.

From a study using data from hundreds of thousands of drivers, the majority of trips that resulted in a crash were found to have some type of phone-based distraction. This study came from from Cambridge Mobile Telematics, a provider of telematics for behavior-based insurance.

However, CMT believes that there’s another way to help curb phone distraction, and somewhat unsurprisingly, it involves the tech that CMT develops. Its DriveWell system automatically records phone sensor data during a drive, and if an app that incorporates DriveWell also incorporates some kind of positive feedback like in a game, it can reduce phone distraction by 30 to 40 percent over two months of use.

The solution, therefore, is simple. Treat everything — even dire situations that threaten one’s life — as if it were a game.

The CMT also provided more details into how they reached these conclusions. During trips that involve a collision, the average duration of phone-based distraction was more than 2 full minutes. Long stints of phone distraction take place at speeds above 56 miles per hour, which points to the long slog of the highway as a stronghold of phone distraction.

Full article