Distracted driving is emerging as nearly as serious a factor as speeding and impaired driving in research on traffic accidents, and safety analysts and state legislatures are trying to combat it, reports USA Today. A study being released today by AAA found that a driver’s odds of being involved in a crash or near-crash are nearly twice as high when the driver looks away from the road for two seconds or longer.
Four states and the District of Columbia have banned drivers from using handheld cellphones. Thirteen states and the district prohibit or restrict young drivers’ use of cellphones, including those that aren’t handheld. Distracted driving “is an issue that is not going to go away,” one expert noted, as Americans pack more and more devices in our vehicles, including TVs, DVD players, on-board navigation systems and computers.