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Carnegie Mellon research shows cellphone use may not cause more car crashes

For almost 20 years, it has been a wide-held belief that talking on a cellphone while driving is dangerous and leads to more accidents. However, new research from Carnegie Mellon University and the London School of Economics and Political Science suggests that talking on a cellphone while driving does not increase crash risk. Published in the American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, the study uses data from a major cellphone provider and accident reports to contradict previous findings that connected cellphone use to increased crash risk. Such findings include the influential 1997 paper in the New England Journal of Medicine, which concluded that cellphone use by drivers increased crash risk by a factor of 4.3 — effectively equating its danger to that of illicit levels of alcohol. The findings also raise doubts about the traditional cost-benefit analyses used by states that have, or are, implementing cellphone-driving bans as a way to promote safety.

Note that this study is relative to talking on a cell phone, not texting, not using the Internet, not playing Angry Birds while speeding down the Interstate. Talking is where the distracted driving movement started and it just expanded from there. With Bluetooth head sets, voice dialing, and other hands free technologies being so commonly used today, talking is probably not a problem.

Not that that fact will stop the following, not leading, the pack media, politicians, and “advocates” from pushing more laws restricting freedom in the name of “safety”. Even when the facts don’t support their crusades, they continue.

Like gun control, this isn’t about safety, it isn’t about saving lives, it’s about controlling them.

 

 

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After a long career as a field EMS provider, I'm now doing all that back office stuff I used to laugh at. Life is full of ironies, isn't it? I still live in the Northeast corner of the United States, although I hope to change that to another part of the country more in tune with my values and beliefs. I still write about EMS, but I'm adding more and more non EMS subject matter. Thanks for visiting.