Cell Phones and Driving research

Cell Phones and Driving research - Cell Phones and Driving...

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Cell Phones and Driving THE TOPIC APRIL 2008 In the United States over 254 million people subscribed to such wireless communication devices as cell phones as of February 2008, compared with approximately 4.3 million in 1990, according to the Cellular Telecommunications & Internet Association. Increased reliance on cell phones has led to a rise in the number of people who use the devices while driving. There are two dangers associated with driving and cell-phone use, including text messaging. First, drivers must take their eyes off the road while dialing. Second, people can become so absorbed in their conversations that their ability to concentrate on the act of driving is severely impaired, jeopardizing the safety of vehicle occupants and pedestrians. Since the first law was passed in New York in 2001 banning hand-held cell-phone use while driving, there has been debate as to the exact nature and degree of hazard. The latest research shows that while using a cell phone when driving may not be the most dangerous distraction, because it is so prevalent it is by far the most common cause of this type of crash and near crash. RECENT DEVELOPMENTS Studies: Studies about cell-phone use while driving have focused on several different aspects of the problem. Some have looked at its prevalence as the leading cause of driver distraction. Others have looked at the different risks associated with hand-held and hands-free devices. Still others have focused on the seriousness of injuries in crashes involving cell-phone users and the demographics of drivers who use cell phones. Below is a summary of some recent research on the issue. In July 2007 the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the National Center for Statistics and Analysis released the results of their National Occupant Protection Use Survey (NOPUS), which found that in 2006 5 percent of drivers used hand-held cell phones, down from 6 percent in 2005, the first decline since the survey began tracking hand-held cell phone use in 2000. The decline in use occurred in a number of driver categories, including female drivers (down from 8 to 6 percent), drivers in the Midwest (down from 8 to 4 percent), drivers age 25 to 69 (down from 6 to 4 percent) and drivers of passenger cars (down from 6 to 4 percent) to name but a few. NOPUS is a probability- based observational survey. Data on driver cell-phone use were collected at random stop signs or stoplights only while vehicles were stopped and only during daylight hours. A survey of dangerous driver behavior was released in January 2007 by Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co. The survey of 1,200 drivers found that 73 percent talk on cell phones while driving. Cell phone use was highest among young drivers.
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This note was uploaded on 04/16/2008 for the course ENGL 104 taught by Professor Smith during the Spring '08 term at Texas A&M.

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Cell Phones and Driving research - Cell Phones and Driving...

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