Study Showing Danger of Cellphone Driving Buried

The former head of the NHTSA has admitted that he was encouraged to bury the results of a study showing the mounting risk of cellphone use by drivers. The study is being released today under a Freedom of Information Act request.
July 21, 2009, 1pm PDT | Tim Halbur
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The study concludes that using headsets does not eliminate a significant risk of accident, and estimates that cellphone usage was responsible for 955 fatalities and 240,000 accidents in total.

"In 2003, researchers at a federal agency proposed a long-term study of 10,000 drivers to assess the safety risk posed by cellphone use behind the wheel.

They sought the study based on evidence that such multitasking was a serious and growing threat on America's roadways.

But such an ambitious study never happened. And the researchers' agency, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, decided not to make public hundreds of pages of research and warnings about the use of phones by drivers - in part, officials say, because of concerns about angering Congress."

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Published on Monday, July 20, 2009 in The New York Times
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