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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