Daily Archives: 2009.07.22

Hang up and drive

Way back in 2003, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration looked at the available data regarding phone usage while driving. Their recommendations would have included a total ban on phones being used by drivers while in motion, whether with or without hands-free devices. I say “would have” because they never released the report. They were afraid of angering Congress. Get that? Public safety took a back seat to political expediency. The only reason we’re hearing about it now is because of Freedom of Information Act requests/lawsuits by two consumer advocacy groups.

Shouldn’t the NHTSA be a consumer advocacy group? Interestingly, cell phone usage has increased greatly since 2002, the year they gathered data. About half of Americans had cell phones then, and nearly 90% do today.