[telecom] Study says drivers, not cellphones, pose the accident risk

Cellphones' role in crashes doubted

Study says drivers, not cellphones, pose the accident risk

By Hiawatha Bray | GLOBE STAFF AUGUST 27, 2012

Don't blame the technology.

For those who argue that a ban on cellphone use while driving will make highways safer, there's bad news: People who chat behind the wheel often drive more aggressively even after they hang up, according to a study from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology,

"The people who are more willing to frequently engage in cellphone use are higher-risk drivers, independent of the phone," said Bryan Reimer, associate director of MIT's New England University Transportation Center. "It's not just a subtle difference with those willing to pick up the phone. This is a big difference."

Reimer and a team of MIT researchers studied the behavior of 108 Greater Boston drivers. About half acknowledged frequent phone use when driving; the rest said they rarely used their phones behind the wheel.


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Reply to
Monty Solomon
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Per Monty Solomon:

Rightly or wrongly, I consider myself something of a connoisseur of drivers who yak and drive at the same time.

My observation is that these people are anything *but* aggressive. Quite the opposite... If there's, say, a 17 percent chance that some yo-yo cruising the hammer lane at my speed is going to put pedal to metal when he sees me start to signal for a lane change and accelerate to pass somebody, I'd say the chances fall to almost nothing if he's yakking on a cell phone.

My suspicion is that his lower brain stem is in control of the vehicle while his pre-frontal cortex is occupied with the phone call.

Rather than aggression, to me the hallmarks of somebody talking while driving are drifting over the line with no signal and then drifting back again; varying speed for no apparent reason (until you see the phone...); changing lanes with no signal AND without checking the lane they're moving into; and drifting on to the shoulder at lane speed.

Reply to
Pete Cresswell

On Tue, 28 Aug 2012 19:29:59 -0400, Pete Cresswell wrote of drivers:

Truckers doing that aren't yakking on a phone -- they're dozing off (!).

Cheers, -- tlvp

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