New study suggests talking on the phone while driving perhaps not as hazardous as once thought
Of course, every point of view has a counter-point, and every study or legal review can also be turned on its head. Under the right circumstances, anything can become safer or more dangerous.
From folks at Carnegie Mellon University and the London School of Economics conducted an analysis of 8 million car crashes and fatalities on roadways in eight US states. The time period studied tracked activity between 2002 and 2005, before and after 9:00PM (local time) for each state. 9:00PM was chosen because at that time, many carriers offered free calls during the week.
Examining the call data and corresponding incidences of car crashes, Professor Saurabh Bhargava and Dr. Vikram Pathania saw no correlation between the increase in calling activity and the fact that there was no apparent increase in crashes.
Now before you go all crazy thinking you are impervious on the streets while chatting on the phone, you should know that the study was only looking at talking, not texting, not data use. The principals of the study want to dig deeper and see if there is any correlation related to the age of the driver (certainly likely) and also research further as it relates to smartphone use.
“Rash drivers will always find a way to distract themselves.”