MORGANTOWN, W.Va - West Virginia University researchers are looking at the effectiveness of laws that deal with cell phone use and driving.

“The use of cell phones while driving is responsible for a large number of car crashes and deaths every year,” said principal investigator Motao Zhu, M.D., Ph.D., of the WVU School of Public Health. “Our long term goal is to reduce crashes, injuries, fatalities, and societal costs through reducing cell-phone related distracted driving.”

Dr. Zhu and co-investigators Jeffrey Coben, M.D., and Dorothy L. Long, Ph.D, also of the School of Public Health, have been awarded a $400,000 grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control for their research.

The research will look at how effective cell phone laws and bans are in certain areas of the country. The team will also investigate motor vehicle-related injuries and distracted driving.