Idle phones threaten car insurance

Friday, 25 May 2012

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Mobile phone owners do not even have to be actively using their device while behind the wheel in order for it to impact their driving capabilities, according to researchers at the University of Washington.

Simply anticipating a call or a text message can be enough of a distraction to cause car insurance policyholders to end up in an accident.

Jennifer M Whitehall and colleagues at the Harborview Injury Prevention and Research Center asked undergraduates to fill out a Cell Phone Overuse Scale to assess aspects of problematic phone use.

They also completed an online survey on driving history and for each point increase on the scale, there was a one per cent increase in the number of previous car crashes.

Call anticipation was found to have the largest association with accidents.

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