dangerous than driving drunk
Texting more dangerous than drunk driving
A test by Car and Driver magazine showed that texting is
more dangerous than driving drunk. A
Virginia Tech study showed that texting is 17 times more dangerous than
just talking on the phone. A Harris poll showed that 66% of
respondents admitted to texting while driving, though 89% think the
practice should be banned. L.A. Times, 2010
Cell phone use as dangerous as driving drunk
University of Utah researchers tested subjects'
braking ability while talking on a cellphone or driving drunk.
The cellphone drivers did worse. Three of them even crashed into
the pace car, while none of the drunks did. CNET,
Cellphone-driving is just as dangerous as drunk-driving,
according to a study in the New England Journal of Medicine. Reuters, 1997
Hands-free phones just as dangerous as hand-held...or worse
New Jersey statistics show that talking on a hands-free cell
phone while driving can be just as dangerous as talking on a hand-held
phone. A motorist is also almost as likely to be injured or
killed when involved in a crash while using a hands-free cell phone,
vs. no phone. The problem with handheld phones isn't that they
tie up your hands, it's that they tie up your mind.
That's why switching to a headset doesn't make it any safer. Press of Atlantic City, May 2010
The government has known that hands-free phones as just as
dangerous as hand-held since 2003, but kept the information
secret. A consumer group is now suing the government for not
sharing this information with the public. Public Citizen, July 2009
"Even hands-free phones appear to contribute to unsafe
2005 study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found that
drivers using cell phones -- even hands-free -- were four times as
likely to have an accident involving an injury." ABC News, March 2009
Hands-free cell phones, in fact, are involved in more
percent) than handheld cell phones (4 percent), according to a study
published in the Journal of American College Health. Indiana University, 2006
Researchers at the University of Illinois tested the
hands-free mobile use and found it to be just as dangerous as driving
with a cell phone in your hand. ABC News, Aug. 2005
Report: Using Car Phones Is as Dangerous as Driving Drunk
February 13, 1997
©Reuters Ltd. All rights reserved ©FOX News Network 1997. All rights
BOSTON -- The risk of having a traffic accident while using a
cellular phone is the same as that while driving drunk, according to a
study appearing in Thursday's New England Journal of Medicine.
University of Toronto researchers found cell phone users four to five
times more likely to get into traffic accidents than those who do not
use them. "Telephones that allowed the hands to be free did not appear
to be safer than hand-held telephones," they said. "This may indicate
that the main factor in most motor vehicle collisions is a driver's
limitations in attention rather than dexterity." An editorial by
Malcolm Maclure of the Harvard School of Public Health and Murray
Mittleman of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston said the
research was the first "direct evidence that the use of cellular
telephones in cars contributes to roadway collisions."
The Toronto study by Dr. Donald Redelmeier and Robert
Tibshirani said the risk "is similar to the hazard associated with
driving with a blood alcohol level at the legal limit."
A definitive study with people randomly assigned cellular
phones so their accident rates could be checked was unlikely because it
would be difficult and possibly unethical. Representatives of the
cellular phone industry were quick to cite what they said were the
study's shortcomings. The Cellular Telecommunications Industry
Association, a trade group, said in a statement that the study dealt
with an association between accidents and the phones. The researchers
did not directly assess whether the phones caused accidents. The
association also said cell phone use was way up and traffic injuries
were down, showing users drive safely.
Nonetheless, the findings were likely to reverberate through
the cell phone and insurance industries, and among drivers and
government regulators as well. About 35 million Americans have cell
phones. Brazil, Israel and Australia have banned the use of cellular
telephones while driving and the new finding may spark similar moves,
even though the researchers stressed that there are benefits to the
phones, such as the ability of drivers to make emergency calls quickly.
Driver error was responsible for more than 90 percent of motor
vehicle collisions, which were the top cause of death among children
and young adults, the researchers said.
Redelmeier and Tibshirani used 13 months of accident data and
phone billing records of 699 volunteers to pinpoint the time of the
accident and determine when a cell phone customer was last using the
phone. They also made some statistical adjustments to account for the
intermittence of driving.
Among their findings:
-- The risk of an accident was nearly five times higher than
normal when a person was on the telephone one minute or five minutes
before the accident. The typical call in the study lasted nearly 2 1/2
-- The collision rate was four times higher than expected when
the call was made less than 15 minutes before the accident.
-- Only after the driver had been off the phone for more than
15 minutes did the risk seem to dissipate.
-- Younger and older drivers with a cell phone faced
essentially the same risk.
-- "Subjects with many years of experience in using a cellular
telephone still had a significant increase in risk," but the highest
risk was among people who had not graduated from high school.