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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

28% of road crashes caused by mobiles, says US safety group

The US National Safety Council has estimated that a 1.6 million traffic accidents every year are caused by drivers using mobile phones. That's 28% of all road accidents in the United States. It says the vast majority of crashes - 1.4 million - are caused by drivers using mobiles and at least 200,000 more are caused by drivers who are texting.

Janet Froetscher, president and CEO of the National Safety Council, said "This new estimate provides critical data for legislators, business leaders and individuals to evaluate the threat and need for legislation, business policies and personal actions to prevent cell phone use and texting while driving."

The NSC says its estimate of 1.4 million crashes caused by mobile phone use was derived from National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data showing 11% of drivers use mobile phones and from other research that indicated mobile phone use increased the risk of having a crash by four times. Texting was said to increase the crash risk by eight times.

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