EMF Health-effects Research

Cellular phones and traffic accidents.

Violanti JM

Public Health 111(6):423-4 28, 1997

Cellular phone use in motor vehicles is becoming an increasing world-wide phenomenon. Using data obtained from traffic accidents reported between 1992 and 1995 in the state of Oklahoma, USA, this study examined statistical rate-ratios of accident characteristics between drivers with or without cellular phones.

Rates were calculated between cellular phone involvement and reported accident causes, types of collision, driver actions immediately prior to the accident, location of the accident, the extent of fatalities, and age and gender of drivers.

Results indicated a significant increased rate among drivers with cellular phones for inattention, unsafe speed, driving on wrong side of road, striking a fixed object, overturning their vehicle, swerving prior to the accident, and running off the roadway.

People with phones stood an increased risk of being killed in an accident over persons without phones. Males with phones had a significantly higher rate than females for many of accident characteristics mentioned above. Rate-ratios of some accident characteristics and fatalities increased as age increased, with the exception of drivers under age 20 yrs, who had the highest fatality rate. Limitations of the study and possible prevention alternatives are discussed.

Please e-mail comments, information and updates to DON MAISCH: