Tuesday, December 20, 2011

NTSB Misleads on Cell Phone Driving

The National Transportation Safety Board has been in the news lately advocating a complete ban on cell phone use while driving. They focused their case on an auto vs bus accident in Missouri where a couple young people were killed. The NTSB was at the very least misleading in some of their claims as this piece from the Cato Institute points out.

First of all, they stuffed their figures for the number of deaths that result from cell phone use while driving. The writer also points out that vehicle accident rates have been decreasing over the last ten years despite the ever- increasing use of cell phones in the car.

Lastly (is that a word?), it's pointed out that the young driver's behavior in the fatal accident was already illegal under Missouri law and there were other factors that contributed to the accident. But we won't let that get in the way of calling for a ban, will we?

For those new to this site, I'll reiterate that I opposed cell phone bans from the start. Now that they are law I hope those of you who think you're so important you need to be talking on the phone all the time become proud owners of a traffic ticket should you get caught blabbing away while driving.

Hat tip to Radley Balko over at The Agitator blog for the link.


At 12:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fred observed: "vehicle accident rates have been decreasing over the last ten years despite the ever-increasing use of cell phones in the car"

This would be relevant observation if the only change affecting drivers was increased cell phone use. In the past 10 years, vast strides have been made vehicle safety (their design), which accounts for both a decrease in accidents and a decrease in mortality rates. If anything, the rates should be even lower, but at the same time we're seeing an increase in things that distract drivers -- cell phones, GPS navigation, DVD players, etc.

At 12:58 PM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

Yep, but accidents are decreasing, regardless. Even opponents of cell phone bans agree that it's distracted driving can be dangerous. It's not limited to cell phones.

At 3:38 PM, Blogger Ernie Branscomb said...

Some people shouldn't even be driving. Cops drive over a hundred miles per hour while talking into a wired mic. People with good driving skills shouldn't be lumped with bad drivers. Maybe part of the driving test should include talking on a cell phone while driving. Those that fail can't drive at all. That would solve Freds problem in a hurry... good luck Fred, I hope you pass. (LOL)

At 3:32 AM, Anonymous virginia driving school said...

It is up to each of us not only to drive safely, but also to spread awareness about the dangers of distracted driving.


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