It just makes sense. Cell phone usage causes accidents, so state governments and the National Transportation Safety Board should ban phone usage while driving, right? Not so, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. CNN Money reports that studies by IIHS show that phones may not be the issue.

IIHS studied crash data from states with and without the cell phone bans in place, and it determined that there has been no reduction in crash rates. IIHS spokesman Russ Rader tells CNN Money that drivers are the biggest problem, adding "focusing on phones doesn't deal with the full spectrum of things that distract."

Automakers have attempted to solve the cell phone dilemma with hands-free calling and voice-activated controls, but that technology would be banned if the NTSB had its way. Phone users won't like that very much, and it's likely that many drivers would just ignore such a law and continue to utilize hands-free phone tech.

Distracted driving is a tricky but important topic. There were 3,000 distracted-driving accident deaths in 2010 alone.


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  • 90 Comments
      breAshley
      • 3 Years Ago
      One of the things I like about driving a stick is that you feel rather like part of the car. A secondary effect, however, is that you've necessarily to pay close attention to what you're doing and what's going on around you. I know this is irrelevant, but it's just what I thought of.
        Susan
        • 3 Years Ago
        @breAshley
        Of course that is correct, and it is not irrelevant! Auto transmission did not cause bad driving and lack of skill, but it let people become more distracted and less connected with the process of making their car move. Also, it lets the most inept of all move a car around on public roads (note I did not say drive a car on public roads).
        LUSTSTANG S-197
        • 3 Years Ago
        @breAshley
        Therein lies a solution to the problem of distracted driving. Offer more cars with manual transmissions. Getting rid of blind spots may be helpful as well. Today's automobiles are full of them, probably more now than ever before. Also, car companies can market their vehicles more for their drivability and excitement instead of focusing so much on all of the features and comforts. I think they should do this particularly with their entry level models/appliances such as the Cruze and Civic. It's worth a try as people tend to desire and expect what's being marketed to them. In other words, market the excitement and all of the joys of driving instead of comfort, luxury, and convenience. It may seem like bit of a stretch, but I think it could go a ways in curbing distracted driving.
      tributetodrive
      • 3 Years Ago
      More proof that government mandates as a way to fix problems mostley fail.
      Rick
      • 3 Years Ago
      Can't expect the police to enforce this when everyone and their grandmother has a phone pasted to their head. Place as many laws against it as you might, people will find other ways. But, have you noticed that it's rather easy to spot someone driving while blabbing on their phone? They are inattentive, slow to react to driving conditions, tend to drive a bit slow or waver in their lanes, don't use turn signals and even blow stop signs. Yes, many drivers blow stop signs but this is in combination with other sloppy driving traits. I've gotten to where I am usually right when I think a driver is on their phone after driving behind them for a short while. I don't favor too strong of intervention but I wonder if some of the GPS based solutions might cut this down quite a bit? You know, when the phone senses movement no calls can commence but once stopped you're good to go. I've always felt that lawmakers have been slow to implement these laws because they are probably among the worst offenders! Remember when no one had a phone in their car and had to stop to make a call? Just because the technology exists now doesn't mean we have to sacrifice lives because of it. Besides, I'm sure most talk is less than important or an emergency and couldn't wait a few minutes when it's better to talk.
      KaBoomBOX
      • 3 Years Ago
      Let's be honest here, even in states with cellphone bans, people still use them while driving. I even know people who have Bluetooth integration in their car stereos, or hands free function in their smart phone, refuse to use it (oh, I hate that speakerphone sound, etc.). People do stupid things while driving, and unfortunately others frequently pay the price for it. I can't offer any solution to this other than people start making better choices, starting with educating younger drivers better.
      Guy Inkägnētō
      • 3 Years Ago
      Persistent cell phone drive will be a new form of passive eugenics.
      dropchuck
      • 3 Years Ago
      Funny how they show a woman on the phone...... Cell phone / texting is a huge problem!!! It's crazy how bad people are driving now because of it. BAN THEM!!!!
        Bryant Keith
        • 3 Years Ago
        @dropchuck
        wow got some proof for that. If were gonna ban anything that is a distraction why don't we do kids in the car, smoking, and the radio while were at it.
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      cestmoi77
      • 3 Years Ago
      Enforcement of distracted driving laws are very difficult (not impossible) to enforce. Perhaps it should be tied-in to a retroactive fine or penalty when an accident is investigated. For example, if an accident occurs and the investigation reveals that your distraction could have prevented the accident, then you are fined for the costs of the accident on traffic slowdowns, property repairs, etc. Or perhaps an additional penalty of a suspended license and/or required driver education courses if you are found to have been eating, putting on makeup, or texting when the accident occurred. Otherwise, just think of all the separate laws that would have to be enacted to cover each of the potential distractions while driving: crazy people standing on the side of the road waving their arms, rubbernecking at the accident that you just passed instead of the traffic in front of you, putting on make-up, changing clothes, eating, reading a newspaper, napping, having a sneezing fit, swatting at a bee that flew in your window at speed, reaching across to manually roll-up the passenger's side window, Interesting billboards that grab your attention, turning to yell at the unruly kids in the backseat, singing along like a popstar to the radio, texting, surfing the web, changing the radio station, picking up your purse that fell into the floorboard when you had to slam on your brakes earlier, petting your dog, blowing your nose, fishing around in the glovebox for your sunglasses..... Eventually, the responsibility needs to fall back on the driver to proactively avoid activities that prevent him or her from driving safely. Maybe if the fear of all the fines and penalties wouldn't be enough to prevent the distracted activities, then more stringent requirements for education and driving skills should be enacted in order to get a license (and to earn it back if it's suspended for any other violations).
      Susan
      • 3 Years Ago
      Great photograph:. Young honeybun is blabbing on her phone, one hand on the wheel of some SUV-crossover thing. Her nails are perfect, no lack of effort devoted to that vital task. You can see McMansions in the background. It's such a stereotype.
      Brett Fisher
      • 3 Years Ago
      A few weeks ago I saw my first iPading and driving.
      MASTER SHAIN
      • 3 Years Ago
      IIHS = INSTITUTE of INTELLECTUALLY HANDICAPPED SOCIALISTS!!!!
        dreadcthulhu01
        • 3 Years Ago
        @MASTER SHAIN
        How the hell is the IIHS socialist? It is a privately funded group that seeks to make cars safer to so that the insurance corporations funding it make more money. That sounds very capitalist to me. I suppose you could make some sort argument based on liability insurance being required in almost every state, but even if you didn't have to buy liability insurance, lots of people would still get it, and insurance companies would make enough to fund a group like the IIHS.
          askroon
          • 3 Years Ago
          @dreadcthulhu01
          I think he was just joking.... and it is pretty funny :P
      AnalogJesse
      • 3 Years Ago
      The reason the laws don't work is people who text in violation of the law are forced to do so in a more dangerous manner. They have to text in their lap instead of up at the steering wheel where they can see better but also be seen by cops. I'm not defending the behavior, but it's the unintended consequence of a law such as this. Then there are the people who stopped doing it when it because illegal, but they're offset by the people who continue to do it but in an ever more-unsafe manner.
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