You’re allowed to use a cell phone while driving as long as there isn’t any oncoming traffic. True or False?

The answer is False. You’re not allowed to use a cell phone while driving as long as there isn’t any oncoming traffic.

Driving while on the mobile phone – A living horror

It is quite common nowadays for people to be using their mobile phones while driving, but the dangers of this practice cannot be stressed enough. It is regarded as an unsafe practice that can potentially cause a distraction while driving and accidents.

Driving while on the mobile phone: A living horror

With an increasing number of accidents taking place when drivers conduct calls or texts while at the wheels, many jurisdictions have made it illegal to use a cellphone while at the wheels while some have enacted laws that ban the use of handheld mobile devices.

However, the use of a hands-free device is permissible in places though many studies have concluded that it is not safer by any degree. Some of the jurisdictions have limited their restrictions only where the use of mobile phones by minors is concerned.

There has been an increase in the number of instances of distracted driving leading up to automobile crashes in the United States. Cellphones have been identified as the leading cause behind this problem.

Though many people are aware of the risks and grave consequences involved, they still continue to opt for the risk rather than stay safe in critical moments on the road.

Cellphones are now an integral part of every life, so much so that some find it hard to put them down even when behind the wheels.

Driving while on the phone poses some severe threats

You would have heard at least one horror tale involving the use of cell phones while driving – it is inevitable given the dominance of this phone technology in almost every modern life.

Most warnings talk about specific risks associated with driving and texting though there are many more distractions to the drivers as far as for the use of phones while at the wheels is concerned.

Use of a cellphone while at the when can be distracting enough for even the strongest-willed people and lead to an accident.

Few people seem to have this realization dawning upon them that using a phone while manning a vehicle not only puts their own lives at risk but also risks the lives of others around them.

A victim of an accident that was caused by a distracted driver will tell you of the kind of frustration they experience, knowing well that such an unpleasant incident could have been avoided in the first place.

Such accidents can have severe consequences such as financial burden, property damage, mental trauma, or physical injury – in some instances; the consequences could potentially be worse.

There can be no arguing to the fact that the cellphone represents a device with immense potential that has made everyday life simpler for people in many aspects. However, you cannot justify its use while driving.

Apart from texting, there are numerous things that people do while at the wheels that are a threat not only to their lives but also to those around them.

Some of these actions are

  • Scrolling social media posts
  • Trying to snap images
  • Having an eye on GPS navigation
  • Looking up their favorite music track on the playlist

Consider a situation where you have stopped at a red light. You look into the rearview mirror and find a car coming straight at you without any signs of slowing down. The driver is holding a phone and is too busy clicking pictures of himself instead of noticing where they are going.

You start praying for the car to stop but to no avail and it rams your vehicle from behind. This is an example of an aggravating situation that could well have been avoided had it not been for the carelessness and distraction of the other driver who was so busy with his cellphone.

What do the numbers say about this potential threat?

Statistics related to the use of cell phones while driving show that this is a common and dangerous behavior where teen drivers are involved.

The National Safety Council estimates that 1.2 million of the car crashes that occurred in 2013 were a result of drivers being on calls while another 341,000 had them texting while driving. Being aware of such numbers can help families understand and manage the risks associated with this dangerous behavior.

The numbers further highlight that this behavior is becoming a norm and posing threats to the wellbeing of the drivers and passengers. Using the phone while driving makes the brain more concerned about that task and less concentrated on the road.

Add to that factors such as lack of driving skills and gross inexperience and you have a deadly concoction where teen drivers are involved.

Research done by the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia has found that teens themselves find it more beneficial to put their phones away while driving.

They claim they are able to pay better attention to the road, are at less risk of encountering a crash, and it also helps them stay on the right side of the law.

The onus is on parents to make it safe for their teens to drive and not engage in the use of cell phones.

As a parent, avoid calling your teen when you know that he or she is driving. Instead, leave a message asking to be called before leaving a place and after arriving at their destination. A teenager may find it compelling to answer the phone while driving if it’s their parents calling.

You could also adjust the default “Do Not Disturb” setting on your teen’s phone so that there is no distraction while they drive. Upgrades in operating systems allow phones to detect driving and send out automated messages that do not alert the driver. This can be used as a safety net for your teens against distraction while at the wheels.

Conclusion

Technology will forever keep changing, and new distractions will enter the fray each day. As a result, parents need to ensure that their teenage children understand the importance of being engaged, focused, and attentive while driving. It will help if you commit the family not to use any kind of distracting device while you are out driving.

References

  1. Driving Signals Handbook: Taken from mylicence.sa.gov.au
  2. Dangers of Using Your Cellphone While Driving: Taken from evansmoorelaw.com
  3. Use of cell phone while driving: Taken from teendriversource.org
  4.  Mobile phones and driving safety: Taken from en.wikipedia.org

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