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Cell phones and driving: a deadly combination

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You do NOT want to be the cause of this because you were distracted while talking on your cell phone
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Why cell phones and driving are a dangerous and deadly combination

Probably, the stupidest thing that any of us can do is combine our cell phones and driving. How many of us are guilty of engaging in this activity? Hmmm, a lot of hands were just raised, and they were not the hands of teenagers but of people who are old enough to know better.

Cell phones and driving are a dangerous combination. As far as texting, how is that even possible while driving? But some drivers do it.

In some states, it is against the law to use your cell phone or text or operate any mobile communication gadgets while behind the wheel of the car.

Many companies that are involved in the auto industry and communications business are taking the daunting numbers of cell phone related accidents to heart.

Many companies in the technology business, have become an active part of the No Phone Zone campaign, the purpose of which is to make drivers aware of the perils of driving while talking on a phone. "No Phone Zone" merchandise helps spread the message.

Even the best driver and the most adept cell phone user can get distracted and end up in a wreck, killing themselves or someone else. In fact, since 2008 the rate of accidents related to cell phone use by drivers has steadily gone up.  

The No Phone Zone campaign is impressing upon drivers that they should not be distracted while they drive because of the inherent dangers involved.

In the majority of states in the U.S., it is illegal to text while driving. In eight states as well as the District of Columbia you are not allowed to use a hand held phone while operating a vehicle. Although most drivers are aware of the risk of using a cell phone while driving, many still do it.

Distracted drivers were responsible for 448,000 traffic injuries in 2009, with 5,474 of those accidents resulting in death. This is a huge number and one that adults should not ignore. Furthermore, if parents are using their phones while driving, they are setting a poor example for their teenage children, who are notoriously and easily distracted, and quite good at aping their parents poor driving conduct, which does not a good and safe driver make.

Hands-free cell phones may be just dangerous as a hand held phone because the longer dialing times create as much distraction as do the hand held version, according to a study done by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

If you are required by your employer to talk on your cell phone, and the company instructions do not specifically exclude doing so while you are driving, and you are subsequently in an accident, caused by the fact that you were distracted your employer can be held liable under the doctrine of vicarious responsibility. The company is held responsible for the negligent act committed by its employee.

A company needs to spell out its policy regarding cell phone use to protect itself as well as to instruct its employees on safe use of equipment while driving. The company may want to create a policy that allows employees to use their phones while in the car but only if they are pulled over to the side of the road.

If you are driving in a state where cell phone use is banned, and you are pulled over you are going to be slapped with a hefty fine. If you are pulled over more than once for the same infraction in the state of New York, for example, you can be fined as much as $500.

Insurance companies are keeping a close eye on this situation. These companies are in the business of promoting safe driving practices, which cell phone use is not.  

Regardless of the fines that may be incurred if you violate a law regarding cell phone use while driving, consider the more important aspect of talking while driving and the danger that you are putting yourself, your passengers and other people in. A fine pales in comparison to the horror one would experience if he were the cause of a fatal accident, or any accident, because they were talking on their cell phone or texting while driving.


Minnesota Post: Attention focusing on the dangerous combination of cell phones and driving

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