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VOSI - Public Safety Standard V50.6
Research Report 10

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VOSI - Public Safety V50.6 Research Report 10 Page



1.1 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, November 1997. "An Investigation of the Safety Implications of Wireless Communications in Vehicles". (Ch 3.)

1.2 Alasdair Cain, Mark Burris, Center for Urban Transportation Research, College of Engineering, University of South Florida, April 1999." Investigation of the Use of Mobile Phones While Driving; Executive Summary" (3.3.2).

1.3 Violanti JM, "Cellular Phones and Fatal Traffic Collisions", Accident Analysis and Prevention, Vol. 30, No 4 1998.

1.4 David Goll, "Clarifying fuzzy cell phone etiquette takes sense". East Bay Business Times, Feb 7, 2000.

1.5 Intelligent Transportation Society Of America (US Department of Transportation) (ITSA.ORG) - Friday, May 5, 2000.

1.6 "National Safety Council Injury Facts 2000 Edition".

1.7 VOSI V50.6 "Standard for Cellular Phone Use in Moving Vehicles".

1.8 NJ Drivers Manual, p.30, 1999 Edition, NJ Dept of Transportation.

1.9 "Don't Dial & Drive", pgs. 181,182, Good Housekeeping Institute Report. August, 2001(Good Housekeeping). 


2.1 To propose a federal law banning the use of hand-held cellular phones while operating a moving vehicle therefore eliminating the need to perform state-by-state cellular phone bans.

2.2 This Research Report is to be used to make the public aware of the dangers and hazards of using a hand-held cellular phone while operating an automobile and is the basis for VOSI V50.6.


3.1 In its conclusions (Ref. 1.1) the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) emphasizes that distraction potential can be minimized by hands-free cellular phone and that dialogues that involve agitated or extensive conversations may contribute to a higher accident rate.

3.2 Since the number of cell phones is growing at a rate of 40 percent a year in the United States which already has an estimated 80 million cell phone users it's imperative people begin exercising more discipline in their use (Ref 1.4).

3.3 Based on reports filed between 1992 and 1995, the Oklahoma State Department of Public Safety data concluded the following regarding the presence and/or use of a mobile phone:

  • Drivers reported to be using a phone at the time of collision had a nine-fold risk of a fatality over those without a phone.

  • Drivers with phones had an increased chance of striking a pedestrian.

  • Results suggest that phone use is associated with driver inattentiveness to speed and lane position. (Ref 1.2)

3.4 Studies show that driver concentration becomes 2nd priority when using a hand-held cellular phone while operating an automobile. 17% of all cellular related driving accidents were classified as being caused by 'Inattention'. (Ref 1.3).

3.5 Two in Five Have Had Near Accidents with Drivers Using Cell Phones: According to a new survey by Farmers Insurance Group, 87 percent of adults believe that using a cell phone while driving impairs a person's ability to drive. (Ref. 1.5).

3.6 Ref 1.8, pg 30, states: "Keep both hands on the wheel at all times except when shifting gears or giving hand signals".


4.1 Along with the increase in cellular phone usage there has been an increase in cell-phone related driving accidents. This is pointed out by the fact that 40+ states have enacted laws regarding the use of cellular phones while driving.

4.2 Concentration becomes secondary when operating a cellular phone while driving.

4.3 Federal legislation is needed to provide the uniform protection of all motorists in the United States from the dangers of drivers using hand-held cell phones.

4.4 Fig.1 and Fig.2 (Ref 1.6 Tables), "Motor Vehicle Deaths per 10,000 Motor Vehicles (1913-1999)" and "Motor Vehicle Deaths per 100,000 Population (1913-1999)", respectively, do not appear to show the dangers of cell phone use. Cell phone use began in the mid 80s, neither figure seems to show a sharp increase in fatal accident rates, therefore it seems that most accidents involving cell-phones are non-fatal. Discussions with police officers indicate a significant increase in non-fatal accidents although their use is seldom mentioned in police reports as a contributing factor in accidents. 

4.5 A voice activation service from cell phone carriers should be used per Ref 1.9.

4.6 Cell phones are a factor in 40%of the "near-miss" accidents.

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Created: 2001-07-31 Last Updated: 2002-04-15