Do you use your cell phone while driving? Have you texted a friend while driving? Has something caught your eye that has prompted you to take a picture while driving? If you’ve answered yes to any of these questions, you may have been considered as distracted as a drunk driver. That’s right, a study conducted by the University of Utah in 2006 showed that people using cell phones while driving are as distracted as drunk drivers. To make matters worse, it has been estimated by the AAA that roughly 3 million auto accidents are caused by distraction in driving.
Let’s face it, using cell phones in any capacity while driving can lead to other distractions. Cell phone use can contribute to tunnel vision. Cell phone use can limit our ability to scan the road. Cell phone use may lead to being lax when performing activities required for driving such as using blinkers and rear view mirrors. In fact, people that perform other activities while driving tend to reduce their speed when compared to drivers that are not multi-tasking.
There are also laws in the making to safeguard against cell phone drivers. At first glance, it appears that some of the tougher laws are targeted toward teenagers. Several states have banned teens from texting while driving. Yet, no one is suspected to ultimately be immune from cell phone driving laws that will better restrict people of all ages from using cell phones while driving.
Tips for Safe Driving
1. If you receive a phone call or text while driving and have to respond, pull off the road.
2. Remember that eating and tending to a child are just as distracting as using a cell phone while driving.
3. Allow other people in the car to make calls for you or respond to texts for you.
4. Refrain from calling, texting, accessing the Internet, watching videos, playing video games, and searching MP3 devices while driving.
Burton Padove a volunteer state coordinator and lobbies extensively for highway and trucking safety through CRASH (Citizens for Reliable and Safe Highways). He is also a member of FocusDriven, a non profit organization dedicated to improving safety through better laws about cell phone use while driving. If you have been injured by a driver using a cell phone, call Burton Padove for a free consultation at 219-836-2200 or 877-446-5294 for nationwide callers.