Cell Phone Use May Not Increase Accidents

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(Sacramento, CA)
Thursday, September 16, 2004
U-C Davis economist Jim Prieger (PRE-gurr) says his research shows that drivers who use cell phones are still increasing the risk of crashing, but the likelihood is as much as 36-percent less than a previous study predicted. The interesting thing about that study that gets cited quite a bit in the policy discussions is that every single person in it had an accident, therefore they might not have a representative sample of people. So we tried to correct for that idea. He says the true effect on accidents is apparently too small to be statistically significant. We can’t statistically, precisely come up with the answer that ‘yes, lives would be saved.’ Now, they may certainly well may be but we’re just saying we think the answer is less clear cut and deserves further research. So far, only New York and New Jersey have banned using hand-held cell phones while driving. Prieger (PRE-gurr) says California lawmakers would be jumping the gun if they followed suit. Steve Milne - KXJZ news.