The last several weeks have seen a flurry of media coverage about the impact of cell phone usage on drivers. The most recent coverage suggests that cell phone bans will not decrease the number of car crashes. The Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI) study was released at a conference last Friday.
The HLDI, which is sponsored by the insurance industry, compared roadway accident data from states that have banned driving while texting to states that do not regulate texting. The organization also examined data on monthly collision claims in four states that banned hand-help phones and looked the data before and after the laws went into effect. However, HLDI’s data does not distinguish drivers who were using cell phones at the time of the car accident versus other drivers.
The Transportation Department has already renounced HLDI’s research, calling the study irresponsible.
Source: Cellphone Curbs May Not Decrease Car Crashes, Wall Street Journal, January 30, 2010
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