"It's a frustrating, unsatisfying answer, but we don't, at this point, know an effective strategy for getting drivers off their phones," she added.
The Center for Auto Safety tried to get access to NHTSA's studies on drivers' cell phone use in March 2008, but were denied the documents. The group filed a lawsuit with assistance from Public Citizen, which ultimately led to the information's release.
"It is a travesty that NHTSA kept secret factual information that could have saved lives," said Public Citizen attorney Margaret Kwoka in today's statement. "Although FOIA protects an agency's decision-making process, these documents reflect facts about safety risks that the public had every right to see."