Cells Phones and Driving Don’t Mix
Cellular phones – they went from being foot long-antenna esoteric devices to the necessity of the 21st century; after all, children as young as nine carry them. We depend on their everyday functions and applications. They’re organizers, alarm clocks and music players all in one; they’re almost as valuable as our wallets.
Besides all of their positive uses, they can be quite a distraction and leave us absent-minded while driving. Cell phones cause up to 30% of highway collisions in Ontario. It isn’t only talking on a cell phone that is a distraction, either – texting while driving can often prove fatal.
Talking and texting on cell phones has been categorized into what Centers for Disease Control and Prevention calls “distracted driving”. This means anyone who physically takes their hands off of the steering wheel or directs their attention elsewhere, such as to their cell phone, is a distracted driver. Consider this: over 196 billion text messages were sent in the U.S. with up to half of them being sent while driving. Unfortunately, this probably attributed to the 3,331 people who were killed in collisions that involved distracted drivers.
Although there are alternatives to talking on the cell phone while driving, such as a Bluetooth headset, it is still equally distracting. As of 2009, Ontario implemented a cell phone law that carried a fine of $155 for anyone seen talking on a cell phone while driving. Other provinces have similar laws that carry fines up to $400 and demerit point as well.
So it’s probably best if we keep our hands off of the phone and on the steering wheel. Not only will it keeps our roads safer, but it will keep money in your pocket. In case of an emergency, pull over to the side of the road to use your phone. Otherwise, keep it out of your hands until you’ve safely reached your destination.
Stay safe and smart on the roads!