Government Hid Distracted Driver Statistics

You can’t go down the road without seeing someone behind the wheel talking on the phone, doing their make up or eating breakfast. That’s what makes this news so upsetting. In 2003, officials at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) halted a plan for a large-scale look involving 10,000 drivers to see whether cell phone use behind the wheel was risky, according to a report. It also withheld research warning about the dangers of talking on the cell phone while driving.

What’s most upsetting is what the information said. It was revealed that drivers talking on cell phones caused 955 fatal accidents and 240,000 car accidents in 2002. And that was when approximately 6 percent of drivers were on the phone at any time. Now cell phone use has doubled.

The information was not easy to obtain. Public Citizen and the Center for Auto Safety had to file a freedom of information lawsuit to pry the information from NHTSA.

Why was the information withheld? The former head of NHTSA told the New York Times that officials at the Department of Transportation wanted NHTSA to gather safety data. Period. Any other information would be considered lobbying the states. How can saving lives be considered lobbying? NHTSA had found that not only talking on cell phones, but even using hands-free devices caused distraction.

The New York Times has put the research on its web site.

The bottom line is that a driver talking on the phone is four times as likely to crash and cause a serious auto accident than other drivers and is comparable to someone drunk driving with a 0.08 blood alcohol count.

And the bottom line is that the government covered it up.

I wonder how many lives could have been saved since 2003 when researchers concluded that, “We therefore recommend that the drivers not use wireless communication devices, including text messaging systems, when driving, except in an emergency.”

Whether you have suffered injuries in an auto accident, truck accident, motorcycle accident, or pedestrian accident as a result of a negligent driver, the auto accident attorneys in Florida at Farah and Farah have the skill and experience to assist you. Our personal injury firm has dedicated many years to defending the rights of those injured due to another person’s neglect so that deserved compensation can be acquired. Call us today.