There is no evidence that banning cell phone use while driving is effective, according to a recent report by the Governor’s Highway Safety Association. The report also reveals that hands-free phones are no less dangerous.
However, it is still recommended that states enact these bans. As of now, 34 states have banned texting while driving and 9 states have banned all drivers from using handheld phones while driving.
As distracted driving has become an epidemic on U.S. roadways, cell phones are to blame for the majority of distractions. In fact, two-thirds of drivers have reported using a cellphone while driving. However, distractions can range from eating to applying makeup – cell phones are just the biggest issue amongst all distracting activities.
What is distracted driving?
Distracted driving is when the driver of a vehicle is engaging in behavior that takes attention away from the road. Using a GPS, reading directions, talking to passengers and changing the music are other forms of distracting driving behavior.
There statistics out there that prove texting while driving makes a driver 23 percent times more likely to cause an accident – drunk drivers are 7 times more likely.
Research suggests that 80 percent of traffic deaths could be a result of distracted driving.
10 Tips to Avoid Distraction
1. In general, you know what distracts you. Avoid any of these activities.
2. Turn cell phone off before getting behind the wheel.
3. If you need to make a call, pull over.
4. Do not text, read email or play with your phone apps while driving.
5. Program your GPS or read directions before you leave.
6. Set up a specialized message to tell callers that you are driving and that you will get back to them as soon as possible.
7. Secure pets before you drive.
8. Do not argue or have serious conversations with passengers while driving.
9. Ask a passenger to make a call for you if the call can’t wait.
10. Become familiar with the state and local laws before you get in the car.
Distracted Driving Accident Statistics
The federal government estimated that by 2007 11 percent of drivers were talking on their phones at any given time. Harvard University researchers have estimated that drivers using cell phones are causing more than 2,500 or more fatal crashes a year and more than 500,000 injury accidents annually. In 2008, distracted driving motor vehicle accidents killed nearly 6,000 Americans.