Do cell phone laws make the roads any safer?

01.30.2010

Every state legislature has considered regulations that would prohibit the use of cell phones while driving. Several have enacted laws that prohibit drivers from using hand-held cell phones but allow drivers to use hands-free devices. Will these laws make the roads any safer? In January of 2010,...

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And this just in...

01.26.2010

A new study from researchers at the University of Illinois @ Urbana-Champaign is helping to better understand why cell phones and driving do not mix. The study used an advanced driving simulator and had volunteers listen to and then retell novel stories over a hands-free cell phone. In one conditi...

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An exception to the rule?

01.20.2010

A few months back, I was a guest on a radio call-in show on one of the public radio stations in California. One caller really took me by surprise. He was calling from a hand-held cell phone while driving a semi-tractor trailer down Interstate 5! The caller informed me that he could shift with one hand, hold the phone with the other, and steer with his knee (how he operated the clutch and gas pedal, I do not know). He stated that he was an exceptional driver and had not been in an accident [yet]. I suggested that this was extremely unsafe and that he should hang up and pay more attention to the road.

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What about passenger conversations?

01.19.2010

When people learn that talking on a cell phone (either a hand held unit or a hands-free device) increases the crash risk by a factor of 4 (identical to the crash risk with driving with a blood alcohol level of .08), I am often asked "what about passenger conversations -- aren't they just as risky?"....

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Oprah show on driver distraction

01.19.2010

Greetings everyone. This is my first attempt at blogging. Here goes... Oprah put together a show on driver distraction caused by talking or texting on a cell phone (it aired on Jan 18, 2010 -- if you get a chance, look for a rebroadcast of the show, it was very powerful). The show brought in o...

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Focus Driven: A New Distracted Driving Nonprofit Launches

01.14.2010

This past week saw the launch of what we think will be a major, new non-profit distracted driving organization, Focus Driven Advocates for Cell-Free Driving. The founder and President is Jennifer Smith. (You can hear an interview with her, right here.) Last fall, her mom Linda was killed by a driver...

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