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Cell phone usage equivalent to drinking behind the wheel?

July 24, 2009 ( - Injury News, Motor Vehicle Accidents)


New York, New York (– According to the New York Times, In 2003, officials stated that members of Congress strongly advised the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)  and the United States Department of Transportation (NDOT) to not influence a change in policy pertaining to the restriction of cell phone usage while operating a motor vehicle. However, this knowledge of how cell phone use jeopardizes the safety of drivers was kept from the public.

NHTSA states that being distracted while driving is a twofold problem: first, the fact that when doing anything other than driving while behind the wheel, decreases your ability to be cautious, alert to the other vehicles around you and traffic signs and signals.  The second fact is that by focusing on performing any other tasks other than driving, the risk for having an accident due to the distraction increases dramatically.  Research also found that use of cell phone while drinking could actually be as detrimental as driving with a blood alcohol level of .08.

For the first time, this growing concern for this widespread trend in our society has been brought to light by certain advocacy groups. These two groups had sued to obtain the information which had been withheld from the general public. The New York Times had received acquired this research the aid of The Center for Auto Safety and The research documents may now be found on the web.

Bridget Hom

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