While just about everyone has a cell phone these days, it doesn't mean it's safe to use one while driving. On the contrary, it actually increases the risks, presenting a whole new slew of potential hazards while on the road. It's important to consider the dangers of using your cell phone on the road and take precautions before it's too late.
Serves as a distraction from your surroundings
Talking on your phone serves as a major distraction. You're focusing on holding your phone to your ear, listening to the conversation, and managing your car all at once. Therefore, it's understandable that you're less likely to remember or identify buildings or landmarks. If you're not paying attention, you could miss a turn or not see something coming out into the road. This can be incredibly dangerous.
Leads to more reckless and erratic driving
According to MedicalNewsToday.com, a study has shown that cell phone use leads to more erratic driving with less speed control. With a decrease in speed control, you're more likely to get pulled over for a ticket or lose control of your vehicle. Also, if another vehicle stops in front of you without warning, there's a chance you may hit it.
Texting is a massive distraction
While talking on your cell phone is one thing, writing and sending text messages while on the road is something else entirely. Text messages require a lot of focus. You're not just talking, you're using numbers to input letters and construct sentences. Often, while texting, your eyes will leave the road to double check what you're writing. This is dangerous, as you could hit a pedestrian, another car, or some other hazard in the road.
In some states, it's against the law
While not every state enforces such a rule, it's becoming a growing trend to make use of handheld cell phones illegal while driving. The laws vary from state to state, but if you're caught talking on a handheld cell phone while driving in states like New Jersey, Washington, Connecticut, Oregon, California, or New York, you could be pulled over and ticketed.
What you can do
If you still need to talk on your phone while driving, try investing in a headset. While there are many wired headsets available for just about every phone out there, see if your phone is compliant with Bluetooth technology, which is completely wireless and hands-free. Also, try to avoid texting all together.
With your focus now on the road, and not on your phone, you and your fellow drivers will be far safer.