Cell Phone Use While Driving

Cell phones and driving are like oil and water, they don’t mix well together. Not only is using your cell phone while driving dangerous, in some states it’s against the law (Which States Have Cell Phone, Texting While Driving Bans, 2011). It is smart to just let that text or call wait until you can pull safely off the road and answer it, or even wait until you have reached your destination to return the call. I don’t believe cell phones are the most dangerous distraction during driving, but it falls at the top of the list. You can feel the consequences of driving while using your cell phone mentally, physically, and financially.

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Driving while talking on the phone can affect your mental state. When engaged in a conversation on your cell while driving, your reaction times become slower. “The act of holding a conversation hinders the driver’s visual processing skills” (Cell phones create mental distraction, not physical hindrance, 2009, p.6). Your mind is elsewhere when it’s not focused on the road. To avoid causing harm to yourself or someone else, it is best to put the cell phone down and focus on the road.

Additionally, driving and texting affect a person physically. The number one culprit of physical distractions is texting. If asked most mobile phone users believe driving while texting should be banned, but do it anyway. “49% of driver’s with cell phones between 20-29 years of age admit they text while driving” (Drivers Pan Texting Behind the Wheel, But Do It Anyway, 2009). That just shows that people have no regards to themselves, others, or the law. Just a quick glance to read or respond to a text is not worth risking your life.

Finally, the last repercussion of using your cell phone while driving is the financial toll it can take on you and your family. The laws have been changed to inflict fines and punishment on people who break this law. In Utah, you can be fined up to $1000 and spend time in jail for texting while driving (Toledo to ban texting while driving; ordinance to go into effect Jan. 1, 2009). That is just legal fines; this doesn’t include how much your insurance premium may go up for causing an accident. You may also be responsible for hospital bills if you cause injury to another motorist. Again, not worth it just to respond to a simple text.

In closing, I whole heartedly believe that cell phone use while driving is in close comparison to drinking and driving. People are distracted everyday while driving, but I think cell phones pose a bigger threat as it makes you take your eyes completely off the road and you become unaware of what’s going on in front of, behind, and around you. Consequences could be fatal if you aren’t careful. I bet your family and friends would rather get a message or call from you while you are safe and alive, rather than a call from the police notifying them of an accident you caused due to using your cell phone while driving.

Which States Have Cell Phone, Texting While Driving Bans? (2011, December 14). PC Magazine Online. Retrieved from Cell phones create mental distraction, not physical hindrance. (2009, Spring). Annals of the American Psychotherapy Association, 12(1), 6. Retrieved from Drivers Pan Texting Behind The Wheel, But Do It Anyway; A survey of 5,000 mobile phone users found about 60% of younger drivers admitted to texting while behind the wheels of their vehicles. (2009, May 20).InformationWeek. Retrieved from Toledo to ban texting while driving; ordinance to go into effect Jan. 1. (2009, November 25). Blade [Toledo, OH]. Retrieved from

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