How Dangerous Is Talking On The Cell Phone While Driving?

Dozens of countries around the world ban or restrict cell phone use while driving - and each year, more and more states in the United States follow suit with laws against driving distractions such as using cell phones while driving. North Carolina has banned texting while driving since December 1, 2009.

How dangerous is it to drive while talking on your cell phone? Ongoing research reveals that the simple act of talking on the phone while driving leads to about a third of all car accidents. According to the Insurance Information Institute, as of 2007 more than 70 percent of drivers talked on cell phones while driving, with an even higher number of younger, less experienced drivers chatting while driving. Almost half of those who spoke on the phone while driving also texted while driving.

An Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) study found that motorists who used cell phones were four times more likely to injure themselves or others while driving. At the same time, A National Highway Traffic Safety Administration study found that 80 percent of car accidents and 65 percent of near-crashes were related to a few seconds of driver distraction a few moments before the collision incident.

Some studies have even suggested that the use of hands-free devices may not completely curb or stop the problem of mobile device driving distractions. Chapel Hill banned hands-free mobile phone use in 2012, but the Supreme Court overturned the ban in 2014.