The article, “Driven to Distraction“, reports that a federal study investigating the true danger of cell phone use in automobiles was shelved to avoid a confrontation with Congress. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, given the task of research, was hesitant to become a lobby group and chose not to release the findings. After a freedom of Information Act filing, the information has become public.
According to their findings, “motorists talking on a phone are four times as likely to crash as other drivers, and are as likely to cause an accident as someone with a .08 blood alcohol content.” In total, the highway safety researchers estimate that cell phone use caused 955 fatalities and 240,000 accidents in 2002.
The use of cell phones, either to talk or to text, greatly increase the risk of an accident and should be discussed with your attorney when determining the liability for an auto accident.