Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Digital Driving: Don't!

The National Safety Council (NSC) announced on January 12, 2010 that an estimated 1.6 million accidents are caused annually by cell phone use or texting while driving. The NSC's estimates were calculated by statistical analysis of data on driver cell phone use from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and from peer-reviewed research on associated risks. NHTSA data show that 11% of drivers at any one time are using cell phones and another 1% are using their cell phones in ways that include texting. Cell phone use is estimated to increase crash risk fourfold, while texting increases risk eightfold.

Janet Froetscher, president and CEO of the NSC, states that:
This new estimate provides critical data for legislators, business leaders and individuals to evaluate the threat and need for legislation, business policies and personal actions to prevent cell phone use and texting while driving. There was great progress made in 2009, particularly regarding a broad recognition that texting is dangerous. We now need the same broad consensus that recognizes cell phone use while driving causes even more crashes.
The NSC web site provides much additional information concerning the risks of cell phone use and texting, including: Cell Phone Fact Sheet; Public Opinion Fact Sheet; Risk Estimate Description; NSC Estimate Summary; and Key Research Studies. See also, the official US government website for Distracted Driving.

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