Cellphones and driving as dangerous as drunk driving

Posted By Kinnard, Clayton & Beveridge || Feb 11, 2012

Right now most people would agree: drunk driving is dangerous. And while this collective agreement is surely a good thing and has led to a decrease in the number of deadly drunk driving accidents, sadly, we all aren't on the same page yet when it comes to the dangers of talking on a cellphone and driving.

Recent studies have shown that drivers using a cellphone are just as likely to get into an accident as a driver who is intoxicated behind the wheel. Additionally, the dangers aren't just related to texting and handheld phones, but also to hands-free phones. In fact, hands-free may be even more dangerous since people are still distracted, but tend to have a false sense of safety since they are not actually using their hands.

But, when it comes to using a cellphone and driving, even though approximately 2,600 people are killed every year in an accident related to cellphone distractions, many people still think that talking on a phone when driving is too deeply ingrained in our society for people to stop doing it.

However, while this may be true for now, it's important to remember that people used to feel the same way about drinking and driving: that it was something that was just here to stay, and people would not stop doing it. But, while there are still people who drink too much and decide to drive anyways, most now accept that there are dangers associated with drunk driving.

Additionally, along with this acceptance, also came a decrease in the number of drunk driving-related traffic fatalities. In fact, in 1980 there were 25,000 people who died every year in a drunk driving accident. Now, that number is between 13,000 and 17,000.

Of course there is still a ways to go when it comes to drunk driving, but the fact that there has been a shift in people's thinking regarding its safety, could be looked at by some as a precursor to an eventual shift in people's perceptions regarding cellphones and driving.

What do you think? Do you think it will one day just be accepted that talking on a cellphone is distracting, and that more laws will then be put in place? If so, when do you see this happening?

Categories: Car Accidents
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