March 7, 2013
WVU researchers weigh in on distracted driving

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- Two West Virginia University researchers say laws and education efforts dealing with cell phone use while driving aren't having much effect.

Jeffrey Coben and Motao Zhu report their conclusions in the latest issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association. Coben is interim dean of the WVU School of Public Health.

In the report entitled "Keeping an Eye on Distracted Driving,'' the researchers say the number of injuries and fatalities caused by cell phone use while driving has increased by 22 percent between 2005 and 2009. They say the problem is expected to worsen despite efforts to curtail distracted driving.

The researchers say new technology solutions are needed. For example, Coben says systems could be built into cars to disable hand-held devices when the vehicle is in motion.


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