Driving & Using A Cell Phone May Not Actually Be Risky
Illinois State Representative John D’Amico (D-Chicago) sponsored a bill banning cell phone use while driving, that was passed in the Illinois House and is now being considered in the Senate, that would make the 10th state in the nation to embrace the ban. The City of Chicago has had a similar ban in place for several years.
But, according to a Chicago Tribune article, there seems to be some research that challenges whether using a hands free device while talking on a cell phone improves safety. In fact, one study seems to show that cell phone users on average are actually safer drivers. While other research seems to indicate using a cell phone while driving doesn’t effect safety at all.
This research co-authored by a University of Chicago economist studied whether car crashes increased after 9 PM, when many cell phone companies offer free or discounted calling after that time.
The study looked at crash volume before 9 PM and then after 9 PM when cell phone rates dropped and there was not significant increase in crashes despite the increase in call volume.
The Tribune story, “Cellphones and driving: As dangerous as we think?“, looks at research and points of view from both sides of the debate.