The National Safety Council (NSC) recently put out a report stating that 21% of vehicle crashes or roughly 1.2 million crashes in 2012 involved talking on handheld and hands-free cell phones. It also estimated that an additional 5% or more crashes (around 281,000) involved text messaging. That is a total of 26% of crashes involving drivers talking and texting on cell phones, hands-free or handheld.
Why do Drivers Think Hands-Free Devices are Safer?
Many drivers hold the misconception that if your hands are on the wheel and eyes are on the road, then you are being safe. This is simply not true. The Chair of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), Debbie Hersman recently stated, “It’s not just about having your eyes on the road and your hands on the wheel, but you have to be engaged in the driving task.” This has prompted the NTSB to recommend a ban on ALL personal electronic devices behind the wheel.
Many devices these days can text, call or even read messages to you without you ever having to touch the phone. Sure this frees your hands to be on the wheel where they should be when you are driving, but studies have shown this type of activity requires even greater concentration than using a hand-held device.
Five Tips to be Safer on the Road with Cell Phones
There are distractions everywhere that can interrupt a driver’s concentration. Don’t let a cell phone add to it. Here are a few tips to ensure you are being as safe as possible for you and your fellow commuters:
- Abstain from talking on the cell phone while you are actively driving. This applies to ANY cell phone, hand-held and hands-free.
- If you need to make a call or answer one, pull off to the side of the road. A rest stop or parking lot would be the safest.
- Postpone conversations that are either emotional or complex.
- Do not send or read text messages, or to instant message someone while driving.
- Use your cell phone only in the event of an emergency in which you need help or need to help someone else.
We understand that completely abstaining from using cell phones and other electronic devices requires forming new habits, but changing your driving behavior is worth it! Many accidents and potential driving hazards can be prevented if you devote your full attention to the task of driving. Calls, text messages and other electronic needs (changing your music selection for example) can wait. MVD Express wants to keep you and your fellow drivers as safe as possible.