New Study Reveals 25 Percent Of Crashes Involved A Person On The Phone

CHICAGO (CBS) – Common sense tells you it is a dangerous problem, but a new study now underlines the risk.

One in four drivers was apparently on the phone in the moments right before a crash, CBS 2’s Vince Gerasole reports.

With multiple turn lanes, a merge from the highway above, and a stream of Navy Pier visitors on even the wettest of days, the intersection of Lake Shore Drive and Grand Avenue is risky enough.

“You have to be careful – bikers, people running and cars are turning,” said Maria Brito, of Jefferson Park.

But for some reason, more drivers seem to be using their cell phones here and that makes it one of the city’s worst spots for distracted driving accidents.

Other risky locations include the drop off lanes at both O’Hare and Midway airports, the merge with King Drive and the Stevenson Expressway, and Solidarity Drive between the Field Museum and the Adler Planetarium.

Regardless of location, analysts in an insurance industry study found distracted driving accounts for 52 percent of roadside crashes, half of those drivers were on the phone.

Illinois is among the states where the use of a handheld device while driving is against the law, but the study found the impact of that has been minimal.

The $75 to $150 tickets have only reduced talk time by about 40 seconds for every 100 mile traveled.

Here is another factoid to hopefully keep you off the phone. Traffic deaths jumped 14 percent since 2014. Distracted driving was considered a contributing factor.

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