Lehigh Valley: 610-435-7400

Philadelphia: 215-567-6616

Modern Techniques for Tracking Drivers’ Cellphone Use

From texting to talking, using a cellphone while driving increases the risk of getting into an accident. In 2021, an NHTSA study found that around 2.5% of all drivers talked on handheld phones while driving. While current techniques for tracking cellphone use are limited in their efficacy, it's believed that technologies, like roadside cameras and telematics, will deliver more comprehensive information in the future.

Current Limitations for Tracking Cellphone Use

While the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) strives to reduce cellphone-related distractions, it's difficult for it to gain data about when, how and where drivers use cellphones. Today, the best information comes from an annual roadside survey that the NHTSA conducts. To obtain this data, the NHTSA observes various intersections between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. over several weeks throughout the summer. While these surveys help the NHTSA identify specific trends in cellphone use, they can record information only in areas where someone can be stationed to observe drivers who stop at intersections. In this aspect, the survey is limited by the amount of data it can gather. The NHTSA can also gather data from video recordings of drivers who have volunteered to provide this footage through an in-vehicle camera. However, these studies can be taken by only a small sample of drivers. It also takes a considerable amount of time to complete the studies. It has proven challenging to gain data about cellphone-related accidents. Many surviving drivers don't want to provide police officers with information that would incriminate them. If you're in a car accident, call our Allentown personal injury lawyer to schedule a consultation.

Improvements Supported by Roadside Cameras

It's believed that roadside cameras will be able to help the NHTSA and other organizations obtain more comprehensive and well-rounded data. For example, cameras could be placed along freeways and other spots where it's more difficult to have a human observer. These cameras could track cellphone use even in quick-moving traffic. While cameras could collect a higher volume of data, AI software could screen footage for instances of distraction. The end goal of roadside cameras is to enforce strong laws against texting or talking while driving. Keep in mind that these types of cameras have already been installed at red lights and other spots along roads to identify speeding. In a recent study performed by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, camera-based observers were measured against in-person monitors to determine if they were as accurate. Most tests indicated that the camera-based observers were nearly as accurate, which bodes well for the future of this technology.

Using Telematics for Comprehensive Data

In the coming years, telematics may be able to deliver more in-depth data about how and when drivers use their cellphones. This information would make it easier for policymakers and researchers to create a link between crash risk and cellphone-based distraction. Telematics is often used by insurance providers to accommodate usage-based auto insurance, which allows good drivers to receive discounts. This technology collects data from a separate device or smartphone app while the insured individual is driving. With telematics, people can pay for their insurance by the mile. The latest and most up-to-date safe-driver apps can record speeding and hard braking. When using this technology, companies can identify when a driver manipulates their smartphone by keeping track of the device's gyroscope. If the driver was using their phone just before an accident, the data from this technology would show that this occurred. A senior researcher at the IIHS recently studied telematics data to make sure it was reliable. This data was compared against roadside observations from the NHTSA. It was discovered that the telematics came close to the NHTSA observations when accounting for rush hour, regional, weekend and weekday trends. Telematics data can also help determine why instances of distracted driving are taking place. IIHS research found that drivers in Virginia were nearly 50% more likely to use their phones at intersections where they were stopped. This data can be combined with in-person observations at intersections to find out how often people are using their phones while traveling at 9 mph or more. The main limitation of this approach is that telematics can be gathered only from drivers who have already decided to use these programs, which means that they'll be more likely to avoid driving while distracted. If you've been injured in an accident and want to receive guidance during the claims process, consider obtaining our legal assistance. Call our Allentown personal injury lawyer today at (610) 435-7400 to learn more about how our legal representation works.

Speak Your Mind


© 2024 Metzger & Kleiner All Rights Reserved. Site Map | Disclaimer | Allentown Car Accidents | Allentown Truck Accidents