Virginia Tech Study Takes Hard Look at Hand-Held Phone Distractions

Jan 24, 2014 | Auto Accidents

The Virginia Tech Transportation Institute released a study of hand-held cellphone distractions and the findings are clear: Making a phone call on the road with a hand-held device triples the odds of a car crash.

The Virginia Tech study focused on how cellphones cause distracted driving and measured the risk of performing different tasks on personal electronic devices while driving, such as reaching for a phone, dialing, texting, or looking up directions.

Rather than relying on survey results, researchers installed cameras in cars and studied drivers behind the wheel doing different tasks on smartphones.

Among the key findings of the Virginia Tech study:

  • Texting, web browsing, and emailing took drivers’ attention off the road for the longest amount of time compared with other cellphone activities.
  • Texting and driving or emailing and driving doubled the risk of an auto wreck or near-crash.
  • Hands-free mobile technology isn’t really hands-free. Apps and devices that supposedly prevent drivers from using hand-held electronics require drivers to perform a visual-manual task 50% of the time.
  • Talking on a hand-held cellphone does not necessarily increase car collision risk, but actions such as finding the phone, dialing a number, or searching cellphone contacts are very risky and cause driver distraction.

In addition to discovering that making calls behind the wheel triples the risk of getting in a car crash, the study found that texting or emailing takes the driver’s eyes off the road for an average of 23 seconds—more than previously thought. In recent years, AT&T and public safety organizations estimated that texting takes a driver’s eyes from the road ahead for only five seconds, not 23.

To put the Virginia Tech figure in perspective: A car moving at 60 mph can travel almost 2,000 feet in the time it takes to compose a text message or write an email.

People who are injured in car crashes caused by distracted drivers should understand their legal options. Contacting a car accident attorney in Richmond can be a step in the right direction. At Geoff McDonald & Associates, we have many years of experience handling auto accident cases and we charge no upfront fees if we take on your case. 

Geoff McDonald and Associates: 804-888-8888.


No Fees Unless We Win

    How Are Truck Accidents Different From Car Accidents in Virginia?

    Power trucking accidents are one of the most dangerous types of road accidents, and they differ significantly from car accidents in several ways. The most apparent difference between a truck and a car is their size and weight. Trucks are much bigger and heavier than...

    What to Do if You’re Hurt in a Virginia Multi-Vehicle Crash

    Any car accident has the potential to cause catastrophic injuries and property damage, and multi-vehicle accidents can dramatically increase those risks.  Multiple-vehicle accidents involve three or more vehicles, which also complicates determining fault and...

    How Do I Know If I Have a Valid Truck Accident Case in Virginia?

    Truck accidents are some of the deadliest vehicle accidents that occur across Virginia, especially when commercial trucks collide with smaller vehicles. If you or a loved one suffered injuries in a truck collision, you may ask, “Do I have a valid truck accident case?”...

    Is It Illegal to Tailgate Behind another Car in Virginia?

    Following too closely in Virginia is a traffic infraction punishable by a fine beginning at $81. Tailgating in Virginia is not only a moving traffic violation that could result in demerit points on your driver’s license, but is also dangerous to drivers and passengers...

    Our Case Results

    Industrial Plant Accident

    Attorneys for the Plaintiff: Jeffrey A. Breit and Justin M. Sheldon Our client was killed in an industrial accident when an unauthorized worker was operating an overhead crane and pinned our client between…

    Rear-End Crash

    Our client suffered a traumatic brain injury, facial trauma, a dislocated hip and severe abdominal trauma when she was rear-ended at a traffic light by a tractor trailer. Suit was commenced shortly after…

    Assault of Log Truck Driver

    Attorneys for the Plaintiff: Geoffrey R. McDonald, Frank H. Hupfl, Justin M. Sheldon.
    Our client suffered a traumatic brain injury after being assaulted and knocked to the ground while fueling his logging…

    Drunk Driving Crash

    Our client suffered neck/head trauma and a broken wrist after his vehicle was struck by a drunk driver while he was stopped at a traffic light. Upon rejection of a settlement offer of $325,000, our litigation…

    Rear-End Collision

    Attorneys for the Plaintiff: Justin M. Sheldon and Geoff R. McDonald, Richmond
    GMA’s client was injured as a result of a rear-end collision in the greater Richmond area. The crash occurred a little after…

    Client Reviews

    Cheryl and Rich were wonderful and patient with me throughout the case. All of my questions were answered. They really helped me through this tough time and made sure to let me know what was going on. I really thank Geoff…

    Troy Saxby

    My experience with GMA staff was first rate. They always represented in a professional way and made sure I had everything as far as paperwork. Kara and Theo made sure to answer all my questions, was always available and so…

    Shirley Brown

    Geoff McDonald & Associates is the team that you want on the field if you’re in need of top notch legal defense! Mr. Taj Henley demonstrated true customer service skills and his expertise made me feel comfortable throughout the…

    Julian Reeves

    Geoff McDonald & Associates: Thank you Taj Henley for all of your hard work and dedication! Very expeditious in my case and I was very satisfied with my settlement. Will recommend to all my friends and family!

    Shareema Williams

    Geoff is number one in my book and I especially appreciate the support of Mr Henley

    Ebony Conwell

    I was so pleased with the knowledge and support from Mr. Taj Henley

    Kideem Frierson

    Thank you Geoff McDonald &Associates. A special thank you to Mr. Taj Henley

    Denise Conwell

    Mr. Taj Henley displays exceptional professionalism for Geoff McDonald & Associates, along with commendable communication skills and customer service. By his work ethic and commitment to the people he serves his value to any…

    Justin Fitzgerald