Improving Driver cell phone tracking could help understand crash risk

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Roadside cameras and telematics data have the potential to provide more accurate and comprehensive information about drivers’ use of their cell phones than is currently available, and could lead to better understanding of distracted driving crash risk and how to address it.

Those are the highlights of two new studies released on Thursday by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, a nonprofit financed by the insurance industry.

“One of the challenging aspects of combating cell phone-related distraction is the absence of good information about where, when and how drivers are using their phones,” David Harkey, the Insurance Institute’s president, said in a statement. “Roadside cameras and telematics could help fill in the gaps, improving our understanding of how cellphones affect crash risk.”

The first study compared the accuracy of images from roadside cameras with human observations at specific intersection sites from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration‘s (NHTSA) annual roadside survey, considered the most up-to-date information about driver cell phone use, the safety group said.

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