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Texting and driving kills thousands say researchers  (Source: Reuters)
How many people are killed driving while stupid? I'd like to see that study.

There have been numerous studies that have sought to correlate texting or talking on a mobile phone while driving with an increase in traffic accidents and fatalities. There have been several studies that claim to find the link between texting and an increased chance of accidents and those studies have resulted in bans on texting and driving and talking and driving in some states.

A new scientific study conducted by Fernando Wilson and Jim Stimpson of the University of North Texas Health Science Center has used accident reports obtained from the NHTSA and information on cell phone ownership and data on text message volume from the FCC to create an estimate of how many people are killed by talking or texting on cell phones. According to Wilson and Stimpson, as many as 16,000 people from 2001 to 2007 were killed on the nation's highways directly by texting or talking and driving.

The pair of researchers wrote in the American journal of Public Health, "Our results suggested that recent and rapid increases in texting volumes have resulted in thousands of additional road fatalities in the United States." Wilson told Reuters in a telephone interview, "Since roughly 2001-2002, texting volumes have increased by several hundred percent. Since 2001 our model predicts that about 16,000 people have died since then that we attribute to the increase in texting volume in the United States."

The pair of researchers estimate that with every million new cell phone subscribers the number of deaths caused by distracted driving rise 19%. The pair wrote in their report that in 2008, about 1 in 6 fatal vehicle collisions resulted from distracted driving. The exact number is 5,870 people. Wilson admits that the only way to curb texting and driving or talking on the phone and driving is to have better enforcement methods. He also admits he isn't sure what those methods are.

Wilson told 
Reuters, "I guess a perfect solution would be installing cell phone jammers in every car but that is not going to happen. Unlike drunk driving, where you have effective enforcement mechanisms you don't have that with texting. The cop just has to get lucky and see you texting while driving."

A good example of the problem with these bans is that despite the ban on texting and driving enacted in Raleigh, N.C. in 2009, there have been few tickets written as a result. The reason for the few tickets is just as Wilson stated, catching drivers in the act is difficult.

A spokesman for the Highway Patrol in N.C. stated, "It’s an excellent law; it's just that a trooper has to articulate that a person is in fact texting and not looking at their phone number or making a phone call."

Another study found that the bans on cell phones were more effective in dense urban areas than in rural areas. Yet another study has found that bans on cell phone use while driving has not reduced accidents in areas when accident rates before and after bans went into effect are compared.

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RE: Darwinism at its finest
By Spivonious on 9/24/2010 9:57:41 AM , Rating: 5
I don't think anyone would care if the texters were the ones dying.

RE: Darwinism at its finest
By solarrocker on 9/24/2010 10:01:16 AM , Rating: 4
Providers would care, it might be the only way out of their contracts also though...

RE: Darwinism at its finest
By YashBudini on 9/24/2010 11:50:04 AM , Rating: 4
I don't think anyone would care if the texters were the ones dying.

People think that until it's one of their kids that dies.

And of course there's no acknowledgement how little emphasis their parents put on responsibility in the first place.

RE: Darwinism at its finest
By daniyarm on 9/24/2010 3:47:32 PM , Rating: 5
Then it's not only the kids fault, it is parents fault too. The first time I see my daughter text or talk on the phone without a headset, will be the last time I am paying for the phone and insurance and the last she'll be driving my car.

RE: Darwinism at its finest
By YashBudini on 9/24/2010 10:59:03 PM , Rating: 2
Clearly you are the exception.

But the problem with "its the parents fault" is that the parents are as stupid as their kids. There's no knowledge or common sense to pass along.

Many people would sooner die than think; in fact, they do so.

Bertrand Russel

RE: Darwinism at its finest
By AssBall on 9/27/2010 12:43:04 PM , Rating: 2
You know I think what adds to the problem just as much as driver distraction is poor driving skills overall. I had to do three right hand corners for my drivers license, with 1 stoplight and 1 stop sign, in an automatic. A mentally retarded 6 year old could have passed.

If we adopted Finnish drivers licensing rules there would be a lot less crappy drivers on the road in the first place. There you actually have to learn more than driving rules, you have to learn driving skills. They set up a pretty tough road course you have to navigate quickly, some on wet pavement.

I'd rather be the passenger of a good driver using a cell phone than a sloppy, ignorant, overly cautious, or overly aggressive one. Some people just have no business operating a 4500 lb piece of complicated machinery in public.

RE: Darwinism at its finest
By Lerianis on 9/26/2010 10:49:30 PM , Rating: 2
Only in your mind. Are you going to ferry your daughter everywhere? Then stop with the bullcrap.

I knew a family who said that just 3 doors up from me..... LIE BIG TIME because you know what happened. As soon as the father and mother realized they would have to ferry their son everywhere? They backtracked real quick.

RE: Darwinism at its finest
By banthracis on 9/27/2010 10:30:20 AM , Rating: 1
It's called make them use public transportation instead.

You also aren't exactly setting a great example as a parent if you place more value on your ability to be lazy than the welfare and proper development of your child.

"Death Is Very Likely The Single Best Invention Of Life" -- Steve Jobs

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