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Survey: Ban Drivers' Cell Phone Use

Almost 2 in 3 Say States Should Outlaw Drivers' Cell Phone Use

More Than 900,000 Chatting Drivers

In 2005, there were "974,000 vehicles on the road at any given daylight moment being driven by someone on a hand-held phone," states a report posted on the web site of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

The study notes that "driver cell phone use increased in 2005, with 6% of drivers on hand-held phones in 2005 nationwide compared to 5% in 2004."

Drivers' headset use also increased in 2005, from 0.4% of drivers in 2004 to 0.7% in 2005, states the NHTSA's study.

The NHTSA report was based on researchers' observations of motorists stopped at randomly selected stop signs or stoplights nationwide from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Putting the Brakes on Drivers' Distractions

Elsewhere on its web site, the NHTSA notes that "the data are insufficient to quantify crashes caused by cell phone use specifically, but NHTSA estimates that driver distraction from all sources contributes to 25% of all police-reported traffic crashes."

"The primary responsibility of the driver is to operate a motor vehicle safely," states the NHTSA.

"The task of driving requires full attention and focus. Cell phone use can distract drivers from this task, risking harm to themselves and others. Therefore, the safest course of action is to refrain from using a cell phone while driving," notes the NHTSA.

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