Cell Phones and Drivin

By: Ian Ball

Cell phones have been getting a bad rap for years. It is now illegal to use a cell phone that you aren't operating in "hands-free" mode in many states, and lots of cities. What is worse if that now there are ordinances and legislation being introduced that would make it illegal to use a cell phone not in hand-free node while walking on city streets, and some are even proposing the banning of the use of iPods by pedestrians.

The issue is, of course, highway safety. The subset of that issue, which nobody is talking about directly, is that it is really driver and/or pedestrian distraction which is causing accidents and fatalities on the highways and streets of our nation. Only one small piece of research addressed this issue and declared that there are many activities that drivers engage in which can distract drivers long enough to cause accidents. One of these activities is eating, especially hot, or hard to handle foods and drinks. Pouring coffee on yourself while driving has a much higher potential for disaster than making a cell phone call.

It seems that wherever you go, people are engaged in conversations with what appear to be invisible others. It used to be a sign of insanity, but these days it is more likely a sign of a hands free cell phone in use. One survey indicated that hands free cell phone use was as likely as held cell phone usage to distract a driver enough to cause an accident. The investigators found that while people engage in active animated conversation, they tend to move their eyes in directions appropriate to the conversation, and not to any other activity they may be engaged in, (like driving).

We are, however, being sold the idea that you need to have a cell phone in your car. The wonderful new service called On-Star by GM gives you some very interesting, albeit invasive, services that might just save your life. On-Star can tell if your air-bag has been deployed, and the service will call you to assess your injuries and need for aid. The GPS tracking in the phone installed in your car will allow the On-Star operator to dispatch help to the site of your accident even if you don't know where you are.

Give the service credit where it is due; they do recommend that you pull over and stop your car before you make a call or answer one. On the other hand, the non handset, non earpiece phone used can be a major distraction to the driver even if the driver is only listening to a passenger conversing with a friend.
We are being given new and sophisticated tools that could not have even dreamed of not too long ago; we will have to get used to these tools and learn to use them and survive them.

phones uk

Cell Phones
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 

» More on Cell Phones