Posted On: March 15, 2009 by Steven J. Malman

Cell Phone Use Increases the Number of Deadly Car Crashes and Pedestrian Accidents

According to recent studies, using a cell phone can prove deadly whether you are driving or walking in an area where there are motor vehicles. The study, lead-authored by Rutgers University, Newark, Economics Professor Peter D Loeb, shows how pedestrian fatalities and motor vehicle deaths are increasing as a result of this growing bad habit. There are now about 100 million cell phones in use.

The studies, which examine motor vehicle crashes and cell phone use between 1975 and 2002, take into account the use of seat belts, alcohol intake, the speed of the vehicle, and the number of miles that were driven. The fatality-cell phone correlation seemed to apply even when these factors were in place.

Before there were so many cell phone users (in the late 1980’s and the beginning a portion of the 1990’s), cell phones appeared to help save lives because people were able to quickly contact 911 rather than rely on other ways to get help. However, once the number of cell phones hit critical mass at about 100 million phones in use, the “life-saving" effect became the “life-taking” effect on both motorists and pedestrians.

The specifics of these studies findings can be found in Transportation Research Part E, Elsevier, Vol. 45, Issue 1, January 2009 and “The impact of cell phones and BAC Laws on Motor Vehicle Fatality Rates.”

In another study that appeared in the February issue of Pediatrics, researchers found that kids that talk on cell phones while crossing the street increase the chances they’ll get hurt in a pedestrian accident.

Among the findings:
• Kids using a cell phone while crossing the street took 20 times longer to do so.
• These children increased their chances of getting hit by a car by 43%.
• Children with cell phones looked both ways before crossing the street 20% fewer times than kids who weren’t using cell phones.

Cell Phone Studies: Whether You’re Talking While Walking or While Driving, Cell Phones = Increased Fatalities,, March 4, 2009

Cell Phones Dangerous For Child Pedestrians, Study Finds, Science Daily, January 27, 2009

Related Web Resources:
Distracted Driving, NSC

Illinois Driving and Cell-Phone Legislation

If you or someone you love was seriously injured in a Chicago car crash because a negligent driver was using his or her cell phone, please contact the Law Offices of Steven J Malman & Associates, PC today.

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