Phone Use While Driving As Dangerous As DUI
With the advent of mobile phone technology comes a new menace to road safety and human lives. Text messaging or using a mobile phone while driving now accounts for most car crashes that used to be attributed solely to driving under the influence or DUI. Phone use while driving as dangerous as DUI.
In the US, for example, official statistics show that someone gets killed every 53 minutes in a drunk driving crash, which translates to 27 fatalities every day. Every 90 seconds, someone is also injured in a drunk driving incident. The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimated that alcohol-related vehicular collisions caused 17,941 deaths in 2006 alone. This represented a high 40 percent of total traffic deaths in the US.
The grim statistics on road accidents resulting from calling or taking a call on a mobile phone while driving are not far behind. Research conducted by the NHTSA asserts that drivers who use either a handheld or hands-free cellphone are four times more likely to get into a crash serious enough to cause injury or death. At any given moment during the daylight hours, over 800,000 vehicles in the US are being driven by someone using a cellphone, according to that research. It says both hand-held and hands-free mobile phone use impair driving, with no significant difference in this degree of impairment. If a collision occurs, you can visit the Chicago Autohaus Website for auto collision repairs.
Phone use while driving is as dangerous as a DUI because it hampers decision making. Deciding when it is safe to turn in traffic is a complex task. When your attention is divided, this affects your judgement and you may fail to choose a safe gap in tight situations. When making a decision to turn across oncoming traffic, you also tend not to consider the environmental conditions such as when it is raining or the roads are slippery. If you don’t make safe turns in time you’re likely to crash.
Phone use while driving is distracting. It makes no difference whether you are talking on the phone, texting, playing games or taking photos. Studies have found that phone use while driving slows reaction times, particularly when you’re deep in conversation. Therefore, you may take longer to respond to traffic signals or completely miss them. During a mobile phone call your brake reaction time is slower, and you stop with more force and less control which results in shorter stopping distances available between yourself and the car in front. You’re more likely to wander out of your lane even on a straight road with light traffic. You also tend to spend less time checking your mirrors and what’s going on around you which can affect your ability to monitor and negotiate traffic safely.
What You Can Do
If talking on a mobile while driving is an utmost necessity, it may be wise to keep the conversation short and preemptory. Don’t engage in complex, emotional or romantic conversations. Tell the person on the other end that you are driving and may have to end the call. End the call if it is distracting you from driving and never ever make calls in heavy traffic, poor road conditions or bad weather.