Neal Freeland

Engineering/marketing manager, family guy. My personal blog with a few work thoughts mixed in.

Using cell phone while driving is the same as drunk driving

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Using a cell phone while driving your car impairs your reaction time as much as being legally drunk (0.8% blood alcohol), even if you’re using a hands free device. There’s a growing body of statistical evidence (in particular see page 4 of the AAA study) that proves this, which has led five states (including Washington) to pass laws against it.
 
I’ve nearly been hit twice in last two days at intersections by drivers using cell phones who failed to stop at a light or stopsign. One was texting, the other talking. Both just sort of drifted into the intersection without really focusing on what they were doing, even though I know they saw me. Fortunately, I try to be very defensive and my sixth sense told me to hold back a bit so nothing bad happened to me. Many aren’t so lucky.
 
The data are clear and laws are starting to be passed, but we need to change attitudes. If you’re driving, don’t drink, and don’t use a cell phone. They’re both very dangerous.
 
  • Distraction from cell phone use while driving (hand held or hands free) extends a driver’s reaction as much as having a blood alcohol concentration at the legal limit of .08%. (University of Utah)
  • The No.source of driver inattention is use of a wireless device. (Virginia Tech /NHTSA)
  • Drivers that use cell phones are four times as likely to get into crashes serious enough to injure themselves. (NHTSA, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety)
  • 10% of drivers aged 16 to 24 years old are on their phone at any one time.
  • Driving while distracted is a factor in 25% of police reported crashes.
  • Driving while using a cell phone reduces the amount of brain activity associated with driving by 37%. (Carnegie Mellon)
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Written by nealfreeland

January 9, 2009 at 11:09 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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