Gadgets

Cell Phones and Driving: A Dangerous Duo

There are those among us who may adhere to the belief that steering wheels are meant to be versatile and to accommodate as many fingers as are available at the moment.

Still, most would admit under duress that when a two-ton vehicle is in motion and you are directing its movement there are better ideas, and this is the naked truth no matter how inconvenient it may be.

It is odd how this phenomenon occurred when one considers that while celebrities are paid a lot of money to endorse bicycle helmets and other safety gear, it is not against the law to drive 4,000 pounds of steel 60 miles an hour while distracted in conversation.

Many people claim they can multi-task and they are not the problem and therein is the biggest one concerning this topic. It doesn’t matter if you were born with a cell-phone growing out of your ear, if you are talking on the phone and driving at the same time you cannot possibly be giving your full attention to the road ahead and all of its perils.

Even drivers who are not distracted have accidents because that automatic pilot that all drivers exercise works just fine until something different suddenly happens. That’s when you need both hands on the wheel and that just may be the moment when they are not there because they are…well elsewhere.

Even the hands-free phones are only a little bit better. Your hands may be on the wheel, but your mind is on the conversation/argument you are having with your boss, spouse, etc.

As long ago as 2002, the National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration recommended that drivers not use cell phones at all, not even the hands-free type, and yet these reports were not even made public until last week after two public interest groups filed a lawsuit to obtain the documents under the Freedom of Information Act!

The recommendations posed by the NHTSA, along with a proposal for a long-term study of 10,000 drivers to assess the safety risk posed by cell phone use behind the wheel, were shelved due to what The New York Times referred to as “larger political considerations.”

At the time of this 2002 report, more than half of the population in the United States subscribed to cell phones and highway safety researchers estimated that 955 fatalities and 240,000 accidents were driver/cell phone-related accidents. Cell phone subscribers now make up 87 percent of the U.S. population, according to the cell phone industry trade group, CTIA-The Wireless Association.

And here we are in 2009 texting and talking while driving even more than ever before as we continue to endanger the lives of those we carry as passengers, not to mention our own.

If you are still not convinced, consider this startling fact: drivers talking on a phone are four times as likely to crash as other drivers, and are as likely to cause an accident as someone with a 0.08 blood alcohol content.

There are plenty of people out there who have a hard enough time texting while simply walking. Many argue that there is one simple solution and it may very well be a case of one-size-fits-all if given a chance.

Why not pull over to the side of the road if you need to make a call or send a text message on your cell phone?

Just think about that for a minute and…keep your eyes on the road!

Leave a Comment

  1. I lost my 24yo nephew last year because he was texting while driving. He drifted into the center divider and slammed into a telephone pole. He never saw it coming and died instantly, leaving hundreds of people grieving the loss. But he taught us all a valuable lesson.

    I have not touched my phone in the car since. If it rings, it can wait. If I get a text, they will have to wait until I get home. It is SO not worth it. If you absolutely must be on your cell in the car, pull to the side of the road like the writer mentioned, or wait until you get to a stop light and make it quick! No sense on endangering your life, and the people driving next to you.

    Good article. Thanks for posting!

    • M Dee Dubroff says:

      So sorry for your loss!
      The worst part is that it was all so unecessary.
      Such a tragedy!
      Thank you for sharing.

  2. prabhmeet says:

    Your life is more important than a call or an S.M.S !!

  3. jesus says:

    Many years ago when cell phones first came out I almost ran a red light a a main cross street whilst stopped at the red light. I knew many years ago what happens and it almost cost me my life.
    IT'S TIME!

  4. Chris Jones says:

    I don't completely agree. There are many training programs designed for police and special forces which develop skills in listening and reacting to multiple streams of information. Also, it has been theorized that people with ADD can better multitask and that it may be a adaptation to the worlds feature rich media. Sometimes pulling over simply isn't an option either, there are many places where you may only pull over if there is an emergency.

  5. Fred says:

    since talking on the phone while driving is equal to 0.08 blood alcohol content, i now can now have the confidence to drink and drive.
    I talk on my phone while driving everyday. I am in my car 7 days a week. I never had an accident.

  6. Amanda says:

    Take away passengers, stereos, gum, radios, hamburgers, climate control units, cupholders, ashtrays, and boredom and I might agree that cell phones are the only dangerous distraction to drivers. Some people should not be allowed behind a wheel sober with hands at 10-and-2! I have been in muc more precarious circumstance sharing the road with a fool eatig a hamburger than when I dare to check a text whil sitting at a red light. Don't you think these tests are skewed? No one is suggesting that texting while driving on a major freeway during rus hour in an unfamiliar city in the pourig rain is safe… But I do think it is possible to safely conduct a phone call while driving at cruising speed on a deserted road in clear skies.

    • Steed says:

      Then why did an eighteen year girl in my local town (the daughter of our mayor) die in a single vehicle collision while driving on a deserted country road while talking to her mother on a cell phone.

      Amanda, you are a dumb bitch, and deserve to die.

  7. Ken says:

    So does this mean talking to a passenger is the same as talking on a hands free device? If so, everyone should be driving a single passenger car. This would save a lot of gas since most of those get over 100 mpg.

  8. xxteemo says:

    Thats balonga dude! I been texting and driving for year and it aint no big deal and no stupid law is gonna stop meh!

    RT
    http://www.true-privacy.net.tc

  9. xxteemo says:

    Thats balonga dude! I been texting and driving for year and it aint no big deal and no stupid law is gonna stop meh!

    RT
    http://www.true-privacy.net.tc

  10. Nathan says:

    Driving while messing with anything in the car is extremely dangerous. If you take your eyes off the road to answer your phone or mess with the radio for a few seconds you could travel the distance of a football field or more before you put your full attention back on the road. Talking may be one distraction but texting is becoming a problem as well. Today drivers are more destracted than they have ever been and the amount of accidents you see anlong the roads are an indication of this.

  11. Gary says:

    Talking to a passenger in the car with you is not in any way the same as talking on the phone. Unlike a remote phone correspondent, the passenger in the car is aware of the traffic environment and will instinctively and reflexively pause in the conversation if the driver needs to concentrate on the traffic or an apparent hazard. Likewise the passenger will expect and anticipate driver pauses in the conversation as the traffic dynamics change.

  12. Carlos says:

    There are many many distractions while driving.
    Listening to the radio while driving is a distraction. Passengers in your car are a distraction. Smoking or drinking a coffee in your car? Both distractions. Scantily clad women walking on the sidewalk – big distraction. Billboards and ads on the side of the road are also distractions.

    Texting while driving is just plain stupid.

    A bluetooth headset or handsfree car kit should lessen the impact a conversation will have on your driving ability. As long as your hands are free to operate the vehicle and your eyes are on the road, it's all fine with me.

    Anyone who can't handle simple distractions, like a conversation, and still pilot a vehicle do not deserve the privilege of driving. Period.

  13. Joey Baganuts says:

    i have sucessfulyy killed 4 people thanks to texting and driving. im on a roll!!! no one can stop me. Text and drive for life

    • Jane says:

      I know that it's possible that you are just trying to be smart about this whole thing…but thats just wrong to say. People have DIED. Why would you be proud of something like that. My 8 year old sister passed away a few months ago while riding her bicycle, she was hit by a teenager. They had been texting and swerved off the road. Think about something like this before you speak.

  14. kt says:

    I have to say i do text and drive but then today as i was watching a video about texting and driving on a British website and i was totally changed. it is a simulated accident of what texting and driving can do. The girl driver in the film was texting and her two girl friends were in the car when she swerved into the other lane and killed two parents and their son in the back seat just kept telling his parents to wake up. in the last car in the accident where i believe the driver was fine the baby in the back seat was not. this was not a real accident but it seemed real enough to me. i dont think im going to text and drive anymore just for the fact that i dont want my stupid text message to ruin the lives of so many people! Google this video and watch it. it will change the way you think too. that means you especially the guy that has never had an accident, what an idiot. THINK!
    <3kt

  15. Lilly says:

    For all those who seem to think talking and driving are perfectly O.K. to do……Let's see how you feel when your on the phone and a person who is also on the phone Slams into your car going 40-50 mph head first and the phone in your hand get's lodged into your brilliant skull! 😉

  16. Guest says:

    if you think driving and texting or talking is ok, youre an idiot and shouldnt be allowed to drive period. you must be uneducated also, or else you would probably research something before you just go blabbing about it. if you dont think its a problem, i would say to actually research it, more studies than you know have been done regarding the effects of driving and using a cell phone.
    i wont put a link, because some people post links to bogus sites anyways, so ill just tell you some things that you can search for. one of the main ones is David Strayer, with the Department of Psychology at the University of Utah. He has been studying this for years, and has conducted a number of experiments.
    Another thing to search for, is any study that has compared phone bills, to the time of accidents, and they are out there.
    Another would be to look for any experiments that recorded brain images during multi-tasking, specifically driving and using a cell phone.
    There are so many studies that have been done on this subject, that if you believe otherwise, youre either extremely self absorbed, or just dumb.

  17. Guest says:

    oh, and lastly, even if you think youre "special", as if youre brain isnt affected by multi-tasking somehow, what, are we going to issue cards to the "special" people who can do this? then make the law apply to everyone else. or will it be up to the individual, "well, if you think youre good enough to do both, without having a negative impact on youre driving then you can do it. well leave it to youre discretion." how would that be any different than now? yeah, like the lady who drove through a red light in front of me, while on the phone. youre an idiot and youre selfish if you think either a law shouldnt be made, or that certain things shouldnt apply to you because youre special.
    I know there are many other arguments, such as the difference between older drivers and younger, sleep deprivation, eating, talking to others in the car, using a hands free device, and even practice at multi-tasking. if you are so sure of youre argument, then do research on it. but i bet you wont. and if you do, and do it with a neutral attitude, you might change youre mind.

  18. bob says:

    people these days!

  19. paquito says:

    has anyone seen the star wars 3 last episodes? see the guy acting luke? wonder why you haven't seen him in any other film? the reason is no seatbelt, a phone and two windscreens.
    may the force be with him.
    ps, he does voices these days.

  20. JOe says:

    cell phones+Driving=NO

  21. Dcb says:

    Driving+cell Phones= NO

  22. Chris says:

    There are phone apps out there to turn off phones while driving. It may not stop everyone that wants to do it but parents and employers can demand it be on their phones. Check out turnoffthecellphone.com for one of the simplest apps out there that you can try for free. It really can make a difference. I have this on my phone and it completely eliminates the temptation to answer the phone while driving and my life has not suffered by missing those calls.

  23. Joella says:

    I think that driving and talking on the cell phone is not good because your mind should be on driving not talking on the cell phone. I am sure that the call can wait it is not worth anyone's life or injuries.

  24. FrequentC says:

    If you are Pro-Cell Phone Bans … you should know this:

    Accident rates keep dropping while cell phone use sky rockets.
    http://craigfriebolin.blogspot.com/2010/03/cell-p

    Bans don't solve anything in places that have them:
    http://www.ktla.com/news/landing/ktla-cell-drivin

    People won't stop using their cell phones:
    http://articles.latimes.com/2009/oct/14/local/me-

    Accident rates won't change:
    http://www.cnn.com/2010/US/01/29/cellphone.study/

    Stop saying using a cell phone is like drinking and driving. If you believe that study proved cell phones are really as bad as drunk driving; you should know the same study also proved it's safer to drive drunk than it is to drive sober. (it's a REALLY POORLY DONE study with a flashy headline): http://craigfriebolin.blogspot.com/2010/03/bias-o

  25. FrequentC says:

    The "studies" on this topic are REDICULIOUS! You really should read them! REALLY! Just because some place called; The National Institute Of We Think We Know Some Stuff Council put out a report doesn't mean it's not total crap. You should READ IT and not just skip to the "conclusion" (BTW, the most insane stuff is almost always AFTER the conclusion):
    http://craigfriebolin.blogspot.com/2010/03/distra

    "Distraction by cell phone" is not a option on a police accident report so a large majority of the numbers people spout off as being fact are either made up or from questionable sources: http://craigfriebolin.blogspot.com/2010/03/bias-o