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Using Cell Phones, Texting Blamed for 1.6 Million Traffic Accidents

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If you use your cell phone or text while you drive, you are taking a huge risk, according to the National Safety Council. The group estimates that as many as 1.6 million automobile accidents every year are caused by cell phone use and texting while driving.

According to an NSC press release, 1.4 million crashes each year are caused by drivers using cell phones and a minimum of 200,000 additional crashes each year are caused by drivers who are texting. That accounts for about 28 percent of all car crashes that occur in a year.

In constructing its estimates, NSC used widely-accepted statistical methods and analysis based on data of driver cell phone use from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and from peer-reviewed research that quantifies the risk of using a cell phone and texting while driving. NSC’s statistical model and estimates were peer-reviewed by academic researchers in traffic safety and biostatistics.

NSC released its estimates one year after the organization called for a ban on all cell phone use and texting while driving.

“Public opinion research conducted in 2009 by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety and Nationwide Insurance show public support for total bans on cell phones at 43 and 57 percent respectively,” Janet Froetscher, president & CEO of NSC, said in the group’s press release. “With public support now around 50 percent, we will continue to educate people about the risks of cell phone use while driving and the value of effectively-enforced laws in changing behavior and reducing crashes.”

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