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Driving & Accidents"Cell Phone Use"

In response to the concern for cell phone hazards, Redelmeir and Tibshirani conducted an epidemiological study in 1997 to investigate the problem. They contacted 5,890 drivers and 1064 reported having a cellular phone; 742 of these consented to participate. Of this group the researchers obtained billing records for, and studied 699 drivers with cell phones, who were involved in accidents that resulted in property damage with no personal injury. Billing records were reviewed regarding the times and number of calls made on the day of the collision. Findings showed that 24 percent or 170 drivers used the cell phone within a 10-minute period before the accident. The authors conclude that cell phone use represents a risk factor of 4.3 or a fourfold increase in accidents - a similar value to that of drunk driving (453).

The previous study is quoted over and over in the literature. For example, in 1997, Jacobson reports that a research study shows increased risk of accidents with cell phone use while driving to be four-fold. The author also states that the U.S. Department of Transportation reports increases in numbers of complaints about drivers talking on phones while driving, but this information does not decisively connect cell phones to accidents. Jacobson reports hazards linked to cellular phones, stating that drivers are distracted, have longer response times, have intense conversations that are more distracting than talking to a passenger, may fail to notice a traffic situation due to phone handling, and may endanger others on the roadway as well as themselves. These statements are not substantiated with any data.

The 1997 report by NHTSA states that there is insufficient data to demonstrate the magnitude of a safety problem related to cellular telephone use during motor vehicle operation. This is a result of inadequate reporting on state and national levels. The study also reports, however, that data does suggest, thou...

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Driving & Accidents"Cell Phone Use". (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 01:04, August 24, 2017, from
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