U.S. Government Hid Dangers of Driving with Mobile Phones

5:30 AM Edited by Blony

It’s been over half a dozen years since the U.S. government did a series of research studies to determine whether or not driving with mobile phones was dangerous. Why is it that we’re only learning about those studies now? The answer seems to be that the research was buried because there were concerns that the studies would be seen as a lobbying effort that could damage the careers of some politicians. The studies have now been released as a result of the effort of two public interest groups who used the Freedom of Information Act to make this information available to the public.

So what’s the big deal? After all, we already know that driving while talking on the phone is dangerous. In fact, there are a lot of mobile phone laws across the United States which address this issue by requiring that hands-free headsets be used by drivers who wish to talk while they’re on the road. Well, what might be an issue is that this research concludes that hands-free driving is no safer than driving with a handheld cell phone.

The research (which was conducted by the federal National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration (NHTSA))seems to prove that driving while talking on the phone is incredibly dangerous, perhaps more so than what has been proven by some of the other non-government studies on the issue that have been released in the past several years. The research found that talking on the phone while driving is as likely to cause an accident as driving with a .08 blood alcohol content level would. It also shows that drivers are four times more likely to crash if they’re on the phone than if they’re not. This is true whether they’re using a hands-free device or not.

So what’s the bottom line here? Essentially, the U.S. government seems to have known for a long time that cell phone driving is bad for everyone on the roads and yet they chose not to do a whole lot about that because of their greater political agenda. As a result, the laws that have been passed have erred in favor of hands-free driving which we now know probably isn’t a good solution. Perhaps just driving while you’re driving instead of talking while you’re driving is the smart thing to do!

Via Mobile phone blog