Risk of Cellphone Driving Downplayed

Members of the new Swedish Parliament from several parties have called for a ban on talking on mobile phones while driving.

They say 10 to 20 people die here every year in traffic accidents as a result of cellphones used in cars, and point to several other European countries with such bans, such as France, Germany, and Spain, as well as Nordic neighbors Denmark, Norway, and Finland.

However their arguments were undermined by an op-ed article in Tuesday’s “Dagens Nyheter”, by researchers who have studied motorists using cellphones. By filming the drivers and their responses to traffic, the researchers conclude the risks of using a phone while driving have been exaggerated. They say motorists compensate and do the safe thing.

Previous studies have compared using a cellphone in a car to driving under the influence of alcohol.