Drivers who use a mobile phone or other hand-held device triple their crash risk, according to a recent study by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI).
The study identified three primary behaviors associated with phone use that took a driver's eyes off the road, including text messaging, internet browsing, and dialing.
Text messaging increased the risk of a crash or near-crash by two times, and resulted in drivers taking their eyes off the road for an average of 23 seconds. Activities associated with completing a phone call such as reading for a mobile device, looking up a contact and dialing the number increased crash rish by three times.
The study found no increased risk from the specific act of talking on the phone.
For more info on the study, "The Impact of Hand-Held and Hands-Free Cell Phone Use on Driving Performance and Safety Critical Event Risk," click here.