Are You Driving Distracted?

Cell phone use while driving is risky

The dangers of texting while driving have been widely reported. Some states now have laws prohibiting texting while driving. Scientists from around the globe have published studies showing that impaired driving performance is also an outcome of having a conversation on either a handheld or hands free cell phone. The reports show that hands free devices do not eliminate the risk of talking on a cell phone while driving.

In a report compiled by the National Safety Council, it explains the human brain prioritizes all thinking tasks. If you are using your brain to talk on the phone at the same time you are using your brain to drive, one of these tasks becomes secondary. Your brain will make your area of focus much smaller and you lose important details of your surroundings. If you have less information for driving because you are in the middle of a cell phone call, what will you miss? In a University of Utah study using a driving simulator, the drivers using a cell phone had slower reaction times than drivers with a 0.08 blood alcohol content, the legal intoxication limit. There are many tragic examples of lives lost and those permanently affected by people talking on a cell phone in the car. The National Safety Council shares some of those stories in a video here.

Pledge to drive cell free

Safe driving begins by staying focused on the task of driving. The more of us who choose to put away our cell phone while driving, the safer our roads will be for everyone. If you think you might be tempted to use your phone in the car, there are helpful apps available for download. These apps are designed to disable your phone from receiving texts and calls while you are in a moving vehicle and some of them are free to download.

NMC believes that safety comes first and we encourage you to join us by taking the National Safety Council's pledge to drive cell free.

For more information about why driving while using hands-free cell phones is risky behavior, read the National Safety Council report "Understanding the Distracted Brain" here.