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The New York Times is reporting that two consumer advocacy groups have obtained information regarding the dangers of cell phone use while driving from statistics compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Apparently, these studies were not made public in part over concerns of angering Congress. I frankly do not understand why angering Congress would be a concern in reporting the dangers of cell phone use while driving. Nonetheless, theinformation obtained by Public Citizen and The Center for Auto Safety show alarming evidence about the dangers of cell phone use while driving.

According to the article

The highway safety researchers estimated that cellphone use by drivers caused around 955 fatalities and 240,000 accidents over all in 2002.

The full body of information is suppose to be available tomorrow and we look forward to a closer look at the full body of research. However, will we really be surprised at the data? I have practiced for several years actively litigating car accidents that have caused serious and often deadly injuries. Years ago I lost track of the amount of clients who were harmed as a result of a negligent driver talking on his or her cellphone.

One note is that I would expect this data to be behind the curve. We have all seen the explosion of texting over the previous few years. I fully expect that the problem with cell phone use while driving is worsening.


  1. Gravatar for carly

    Seems that was the way of the previous administration, climate change, cellphone use and who knows what else. Corporations 1 public 0. There is a related post at

  2. Gravatar for Nicci Surtees

    Three years ago I was crossing at trafffic lights at a well lit intersection. I waited for the walk sign then looked behind to make sure no car was coming down the hill from a nearby parking area. Nothing was coming, so I began to cross. A speeding SUV driven by a 17-year old boy talking on a cellphone to his mother ploughed into me and dragged me underneath. His mother heard the sound of the impact. The driver claimed he was going 4 mph, but that was after he got slowed up by banging into me. Fortunately it was winter, so I was wrapped well in protective clothing. I only got a skull fractured in three places, six broken ribs, both feet swollen several times normal size and bruised black and blue. I suppose it was worth it for that very important cellphone call. One must keep in touch with one's mother.

    I though it would be a good idea to take this person up on his offer to drive me anywhere I needed to go. I wanted to get some new storage because I could no longer afford the apartment I was living in, because I was too sick to work. I phoned the number he gave me while I was in hospital. He refused my call. Guess why? He was talking on his cell phone. I gave up and didn't try to contact him again. I thought it might give us both an opportunity to heal. I thought he might say sorry. I thought wrong.

    Always blame the victim. This was my fault, according to the driver, because I was wearing dark clothing. I was seen by people on the other side of the road before the accident as I looked to make sure it was safe to cross.

    Why wasn't this driver insured properly? This accident has cost me thousands of dollars in lost wages. This boy was not insured properly.

    If it's the democractic right of drivers to talk on cellphones, why isn't it democratic to make sure that the people they maim are able to live a decent life - apart from the excrutiating pain and the months in hospital and all those little details?

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