Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Cell phones in the car

Today, while working on a rug, I decided to catch up on some programs recorded on my DVR. The program I chose was an Oprah show from at least a week ago. If you saw this program, you know what an incredibly powerful show it was. If you didn't, here are some things for you to consider.

Approximately 500,000 people are in accidents each year, caused by drivers distracted by either texting or talking on their phones.

6,000 of those people will die as a result of a cell phone in a car.

The stories were many, all tragic, all avoidable. There was also a gentleman from a university in Utah who has spent 10 years studying what happens to your driving abilities when you are distracted. They now have proof that your peripheral vision is significantly reduced, and because your brain is not wired for this particular type of multi-tasking, you brain may even remove things from your field of vision.

Guess what? Using a head set and talking "hands free" is not an OK thing to do. I live with someone who is happy to conduct business on his phone while driving, and it makes me crazy. I'm sure he'll not want to believe what I'm going to tell him when he gets home. As was pointed out on the program...there are so many who think they're smart enough to pull it off.

Really, folks. Is a phone call or text message really more important than a life? If you feel this is an important message, please share it with others. This is a serious matter that's only going to get worse if something isn't done to stop it.

6 comments:

Sea Mist and Sunsets said...

Great information Martie. If I had a dime...for every time in the years since cell phones arrived that I have come close to being hit on the highway. Now easily in the hundreds. That highway and I spend about two hours a day together five days or more a week. (Used to be three hours) Hands free only has been the law here now for a year and non-compliance comes with a hefty fine. Relatively useless. No less near misses. And even if hands free did allow more concentration to driving etc, most are still holding their phones anyway. For emergencies, cells are great, especially spending as much time as I do driving alone. Still...bring back cradle phones where two taps brings the local operator.

Taos Sunflower said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Taos Sunflower said...

I'm as guilty as the next guy for having answered or used my phone in the car, and as you said, having one for emergencies is really great, especially when you're spending lots of hours on an open road. I have now completely confirmed what I already suspected...I just can't pull it off. It will now live in my purse while I'm in the car...period...the end.

swamericana said...

I agree with your position, Martie. I carry a cell phone for emergencies, but rarely use it for conversation and I will not do so in the city, only on the interstate highway and I am looking around for traffic when I do. I still shouldn't do it. My wife uses it too much while driving, but what can you say? I'll drive when she needs to chat.

RuthieJ said...

I saw that Oprah episode too. The statistics were surprising to me. There are enough distractions already when people drive....it drives me nuts when I pass someone trying to talk on the phone and smoke a cigarette while driving. I will definitely have to be more cautious and observant when it's time to get out on the motorcycle again.

Taos Sunflower said...

Yes, definitely be extra cautious. A friend's uncle was killed recently, a woman ran an intersection while on the phone and hit him on his motorcycle...really tragic.