Cell phones. They follow us everywhere. That’s the idea, of course. But when the place is a car in traffic and the user is the driver, the scene is set for an accident. Recent news reports have linked cell phone use and traffic accidents. And there are calls for legislation prohibiting drivers from using cell phones while driving.
But is it really that dangerous to drive and talk at the same time? According to department of occupational health and safety at the University of Delaware, it is very dangerous.
Consider their statistics:
- Your collision risk increases 400 per cent when you use a cell phone while driving.
- About 42 per cent of cell phone related crashes are due to incoming calls.
- Hands-free devices do not substantially reduce the risks involved with cell phone use while driving.
- Using a cell phone while driving gives you about the same odds of having an accident as driving when legally drunk.
Tips for use
While many European countries have already banned the use of cell phones by drivers, sentiment in Canada is decidedly different. The Canadian reless Telecommunications Association has issued some of its own cell phone safety tips. These are clearly designed to keep us driving and talking:
- Use a hands-free device to make it easier to keep both hands on the wheel.
- When dialing manually, dial only when stopped. Or, have a passenger dial for you.
- Do not engage in stressful or emotional conversations that may divert your attention from the road.
- Program frequently called numbers into the speed dial feature of your phone for easy, one-touch dialing, or use auto answer or voice-activated dialing services.
- Never take notes while driving!
Better yet, if you really have to make a call, pull over. Then you can talk to your heart’s content-safely.