A new study conducted by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, which tracked more than 200 drivers for more than a year with cameras that monitored their behavior behind the wheel, found that eight in 10 U.S. accidents are caused by distracted drivers, according to a Detroit News
report. The $4.2-million study monitored 241 drivers, ranging in age from 18 to 73, over a 13-month period where they drove a collective total of 42,000 hours in Northern Virginia and the Washington, D.C.-area. Some of the drivers were monitored drinking beer, smoking marijuana while at the wheel, engaging in road rage incidents, and routinely violating traffic laws, according to the report. Researchers used onboard computers, radar, global positioning systems, and five cameras placed inside and outside the vehicles. Additional results of the study found that about 65 percent of near-crashes resulted from driver inattention in the three seconds before the event, young drivers were four times more likely to be involved in a crash, drowsiness was a contributing factor in at least 22 percent of the accidents and inattention was almost universally the cause of all rear-end collisions monitored.