Cell Phones and Driving

Interesting new study from James E. Prieger of Pepperdine University and Bob Hahn at the AEI-Brookings Joint Center for Regulatory Studies, looking at the relationship between mobile phone use while driving and accidents. It appears that “drivers who use mobile phones while driving may be more likely to get into accidents than drivers who do not, even when they are not using the phone.” How’s that again? Evidence suggests that people who use hand-held mobile phones while driving tend to be less careful drivers compared with those who use hands-free mobile devices, suggesting that use of a hand-held mobile phone while driving is just a proxy for more generalized bad driving. According to the authors, their results “call into question previous cost-benefit analyses of bans on mobile phone usage while driving, which typically assume that such bans will have a salutary effect.”