Your car may soon be able to tell when you're on the phone

Word to the wise, kids: do not muck around with your phone while driving. Some of you probably won’t be able to help it, but a team from Santa Catarina State University in Brazil just might have the solution, according to MIT Technology Review, they’ve cooked up an in-car hardware/software combo that can detect when you’re on the phone and behind the wheel.

By some estimates, 85 percent of drivers in America use a mobile phone while at the wheel. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that during daylight hours, 5 percent of cars are being driven by people making phone calls. That’s not good news. It takes about five seconds to dial a telephone number during which time a car traveling at 60 miles per hour will have moved 140 meters. And according to the Virginia Tech transportation Institute, almost 80 percent of crashes involve drivers who were not paying attention in the three seconds before the event. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that using a mobile phone while driving significantly increases the chances of an accident. Which is why various research teams are studying ways of identifying when drivers are on the phone and warning them of the increased danger.

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