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Talking not texting causes 25 percent of U. S. auto accidents

Barry Pless, Professor Emeritus at McGill University in Quebec, Canada, reported that 25 percent of auto accidents in the United States were caused by the use of mobile phones to talk while driving in the Feb. 4, 2014, edition of the British Medical Journal.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announces a new bill with tougher penalties for texting while driving at a press conference at the Javits convention center on May 31, 2013, in New York City.
John Moore/Getty Images

Pless argues that texting is a larger problem due to the involvement of vision in texting, but contends that talking on the phone while driving is just as dangerous and distracting.

While the researchers admit that “convincing causal associations are notoriously difficult to determine, particularly in this area” they contend that the increasing number of cell phones makes the need for public awareness of the danger of talking and driving imperative.

Pless argues that legislation and education will probably be minimally effective. Even though many states have laws against texting and driving, few have laws against cell phone use while driving. Pless points out the correlation of the talking while driving problem with the length of time it took for the United States to act on drinking and driving.

The ultimate solution is suggested to be a technological innovation that prevents a driver from talking on the phone while driving but allows passengers to be able to use a phone in the same car.

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