TIRF Releases New Analysis of Research on Driver Distraction and Hands-Free Texting While Driving

April 30, 2013

Recommends Ban on Hands-Free Texting While Driving to Reduce Danger on Roadways

Elk Grove, CA, April 30, 2013 – ADEPT Driver, a California company that develops proven crash reduction programs, highlighted a newly published research bulletin issued by the Traffic Injury Research Foundation (TIRF) entitled Driver Distraction and Hands-Free Texting While Driving. The research bulletin examines causes of distracted driving, risks and prevalence associated with distracted driving, and the specific impact hands-free texting has on distracted driving.

“Distraction involves diverting attention away from driving. Texting while driving, including hands-free voice-activated texting, is a significant source of distraction,” said Dan Mayhew, TIRF Senior Vice-President and lead author of the research bulletin.  Mayhew further notes that, “Based on the research evidence to date about distraction, there is cause for concern and support for safety measures directly focused on hands-free texting while driving, particularly in relation to young drivers, who are especially susceptible to distractions and already have an elevated crash risk.”

The TIRF bulletin analyzes new research from surveys and studies by leading research and road safety agencies, including the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the U.S. Department of Transportation, the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety (AAAFTS), and TIRF.

TIRF’s publication is the latest in a series of examinations of the dangers associated with hands-free texting while driving. Last week, ADEPT Driver released a research review that looked at 36 studies on distracted driving, texting while driving, and hands-free texting while driving, including new research conducted by the Texas A&M Transportation Institute (TTI).

“The available research provides overwhelming evidence that driving while attempting to text using hands-free technology leads to very dangerous distracted driving,” said Dr. Richard Harkness, CEO of ADEPT Driver. “In this voluminous body of research not a single study has found that texting while driving in any form is safe. We applaud the numerous automobile manufactures that recognize the danger of texting while driving and have voluntarily installed technology to disable texting devices when car wheels are turning. In California, Assemblymember Jim Frazier has introduced a bill to ban hands-free texting while driving. I commend his commitment to make our roads and highways safer for all drivers, bicyclists, and pedestrians. Texting while driving in any form should be illegal.”

AB 313, authored by California Assemblymember Jim Frazier (D-Oakley), would make any form of texting while driving illegal. AB 313 is co-sponsored by ADEPT Driver and the National Safety Council, and is supported by law enforcement, the insurance industry, auto clubs, driver educators and a host of other organizations concerned with driver safety. AB 313 will be heard in the Assembly Appropriations Committee on Wednesday, May 1.

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