Friday, January 29, 2010

Handheld cell phone bans while driving don't work (HLDI)

The Highway Loss Data Institute Bulletin reports on the effect on laws that ban hand held cell phone use in the District of Columbia and several other states, with the PDF report here.

The Institute reports that there is no significant decrease in crashes in these jurisdictions. No state bans hands-free cell phone use for all drivers, but the media is claiming that the study may show that hands-free use is just as dangerous because it is the conversation that distracts the brain, not just the physical distraction of handling the device. This sounds improbable and surprising. The additional distraction from texting, for example, must be considerable.

What about other distractions -- drinking coffee, listening to 80s music on Sirius radio?

And what's the future for the Jupiter Jack?

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