Research Study Shows Correlation Between Legislation and Hand-Held Phone Use

Distracted driving is an established and ongoing threat in Colorado, with 22 percent admitting to reading a message while driving. As of October 2016, 46 states have enacted texting-while-driving bans, and 37 states ban any type of cellphone use by those with a learner's permit or intermediate licenses.

Colorado has enacted both laws but has not enacted a hand-held ban. See pertaining Colorado laws.

While it's known that cellphone use while driving will negatively impact a driver's manual, visual and cognitive functions, a recent study by BMC Public Health investigated the impact of hand-held usage when driving legislation is in place, across various demographics, sub-groups and geographic locations. The research was curated by roadside observations of hand-held conversations.

The study analyzed 263,673 drivers, and 5.1 percent of drivers were talking on a hand-held device. Drivers engaging in hand-held phone conversations tended to be younger, female, African American, and from Southern states.

Over 72 percent were from states that lacked legislation against hand-held devices while driving. For states that lack hand-held legislation, public health interventions concerning hand-held usage would aim to target the defined group above.

When evaluating the 28 percent percent who lived in states that had the legislation, the study revealed that universal hand-held cellphone use conducted after driving legislation passed led to markedly lower hand-held conversations among all drivers regardless of sex, race, age and geographic location, and that public health interventions concerning hand-held usage while driving could reasonably target all drivers.

Read the full article to learn more.