Calling for disaster

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), today Tuesday, issued a news release (pdf) which cites a British Medical Journal (BMJ) study as "1st evidence of effects of cell phone use on injury crashes: crash risk is four times higher when driver is using a hand-held cell phone." The research finds an increase in injury crash risk across groups of drivers, with 75 percent of crashes occurring in clear weather conditions, and 89 percent involving other vehicles. The BMJ study concludes, "when drivers use a mobile phone there is an increased likelihood of a crash resulting in injury. Using a hands-free phone is not any safer."

Role of mobile phones in motor vehicle crashes resulting in hospital attendance: a case-crossover study
(available as a PDF, 91K, from the British Medical Journal, bmj.com)

See also the cover story in Vol. 40, No. 6, July 16, 2005 of Status Report:
If You Drive While Phoning
(available in PDF, 900K, from IIHS)


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