A study has found that people in the US who are prone to focusing on their phone screens while driving are more likely to crash than those who don’t.
The findings could explain why people in this country have been so concerned about safety since the September 11, 2001 attacks.
The researchers analysed crash records from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) from 2000 to 2014.
Among the studies participants who had a tendency to focus their gaze on their smartphones were more likely than those whose gaze did not change to crash, the researchers found.
The researchers also found that drivers who focused their gaze were less likely to stop at red lights.
The researchers wrote in the Journal of the American Medical Association:”Our data suggest that drivers focusing on a mobile device at high speed may be less likely than non-focused drivers to stop when faced with a collision involving a vehicle with a low center of gravity.”
Researchers also said the findings could be linked to people who focus their eyes excessively on their smartphone screens.
Dr Laura Gazzaniga, a professor of human-computer interaction at the University of California, Berkeley, told ABC News:”There are other ways in which people who are distracted may be at increased risk of injury.
It could be that the more people focus their attention on their mobile device, the more they are distracted and the less they can anticipate their surroundings and react to what’s happening around them.”
ABC News’ Daniel O’Brien contributed to this report