MONTREAL, Que. — If you drive truck for a living this is probably not surprising, but new research in Canada and the U.S. indicates cell-phone use by drivers increases the risk of collisions.
The papers are to be presented at the World Conference on Injury Prevention and Control in Montreal. A half-dozen presentations are to deal with cell-phone use and add to a growing body indicating a link with accident rates.
One study by researchers at the Laboratory on Transport Safety, Universite de Montreal, found phone users have a higher crash risk than non-users. The results cover men and women in all age groups.
A second study by three Transport Canada researchers found handsfree devices are not the answer because driver behavior is affected by “cognitive distraction.”
Hands-free devices can even cause more problems, suggested a third study by the Transportation Research Centre of East Liberty, Ohio. It found drivers initiated more calls using hands-free phones.
An intriguing finding in a study by the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia indicates drivers who use cell phones had a higher involvement in collisions and traffic violations. But this could be due to generally bad driving, rather than cell phone-induced distraction, the study says.
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