More than 20 percent of injury crashes in the United States involve reports of distracted driving, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Of those killed in distracted-driving related accidents, 18 percent involved the usage of a cell phone. Another study indicates that using a cell phone while driving, whether it is a hand-held or hands-free device, delays a driver’s reactions as much as having a blood alcohol concentration at the legal limit of .08 percent.
Cell phones, and particularly smart phones, are considered one of the leading driver distractions. As a result, more and more communities are placing restrictions on drivers’ use of cell phones. The following tips are offered to motorists with regard to cell phone use in vehicles.
- You should wait until the car trip is complete before placing a call. Your cell phone’s voicemail feature should answer a call while you are driving.
- Absolutely essential calls should only be performed while stopped. However, it is not wise to pull over on the side of the road where a rear-end collision is possible. Instead, you should pull into a parking lot to perform this task.
- The phone should be placed where it is easy to see and reach.
- You should take advantage of speed-dialing capabilities.
- You should never drive and talk on the cell phone during stressful, emotional, or complex discussions since the risk of an accident is heightened.
- You should consider using a hands-free cellular phone since some studies indicated that these are safer to use.
- You should never text message while driving.
Get more personal lines insurance and risk management tips and ideas from IRMI.
International Risk Management Institute, Inc.
- Chicago community considers ban on eating while driving (calgaryherald.com)
- Safety board: Ban cell phones for truckers (sfgate.com)
- Cell Phone and Texting Laws (bespacific.com)
- “Do As I Say, Not As I Do” Rules Drivers’ Decisions on Cell Phone Use and Texting (prnewswire.com)
- National Safety Council Answers Distracted Driving FAQ in New Video Series (textually.org)