Accident By Cell Phone

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gathered hundreds of pages of research and warnings about the hazards of drivers using cell phones…The findings included:

What’s missing?

An increase in the number of accidents.  That’s what is missing.

25 percent of accidents are a result of driver distraction.  Cell phone use while driving has increased 50 percent.  So cell phone use is increasingly cited as the cause of the accident.

But it isn’t the cell phone.

The accident is caused by the distracted driver.  If the driver did not have the phone to be distracted by, then he or she would find something else.  All the laws prohibiting cell phone use while driving will do nothing to cut down the number of accidents.

2 thoughts on “Accident By Cell Phone”

  1. According to information on the Wikipedia, the rate of fatal car accidents in the United States declined quite a bit until 1990 and has been mostly flat since then.

    So as the population has gone up (more traffic) and cell phones have become increasingly ubiquitous, the rate of decrease in fatal accidents has slowed, but it hasn’t been reversed.

  2. If I may speculate…..

    Keep in mind that the rate of fatal accidents probably was decreasing due to the introduction of safer cars (mostly air bags) and increasing seat belt usage.

    At some point, the rate of replacement of unsafe cars by safe cars slows down as the now fewer unsafe cars become concentrated in lower income groups that hang on to a given car as long as possible. Also, the percentage of seat belt users may have maxed out and the remaining hold outs are hard core and won’t switch.

    So it is possible that the slowing of the rate of decrease of fatal accidents has nothing to do with cell phone usage.

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