Some of the statistics, and why you need to immediatly STOP using that cellphone (while driving) include:
- Drivers on cell phones were 5.36 times more likely to get in an accident than non-distracted drivers! WOW! Nothing like handicapping yourself, and begging to wreck your car and cause bodily harm to yourself and/or others!
- Reduced reaction time - slowed breaking and slowed acceleration; leading to accidents and slowed traffic flow in general. And yet, everyone complains about traffic jams. I'm sure many complain over their phones while in a traffic jam!
- 50% of visual information is not processed while talking on the phone... e.g., things like red-lights, cars stopping in front of you, a child (perhaps yours) running into the street to get a ball, and so forth. Thus, the driver doesn't even "see" what is going on around them and likewise does not react.
- 75% of all accidents are preceded by some driver distraction (so, why would you want to jeopardize your car, health, and life over the distraction of a phone-call?)
- There is no difference between "hands-free" devices or others -- it is the conversation that is the problem. A conversation simply requires too much attention.
I take issue with all these ego-centric cell-phone using drivers that think they are above the statistics for the simple fact that I have nearly been wiped out by them over a dozen times now. Within the past year, I have had 3 cars left-turn (where no right-of-way would allow) right in front of my moving car. One was a girl that was so caught up in her cell-phone conversation that when my being in the other lane finally registered in her brain, she stopped right in front of me (thankfully I had applied heavy braking already), looked at me with cell-phone in hand with a look of shock and awe on her face, and then went back to her conversation and continued her turn into her driveway. Another was a 40-ish guy in his beautiful Audi TT convertible... same situation, his left turning in front of me while busy in conversation; I screeched the tires on that occasion, and the noise must have snapped him out of his cell-phone lapse, at which point he looked at me after nearly joining his car with mine, and smiled, threw his hands up as if to say "oops... sorry", and went on his merry way. This is ridiculous!
I refuse to ride in cars with people that persist in talking on the phone as we drive. A former co-worker told me that whole thing about how "it doesn't affect me", even as he talked on the phone riding 30 feet off the bumper of the car he was following at 60MPH. That was the last time I ever went in the car with him, because he just would not stop this phone-usage. Sorry, but my life is more important than your cell-phone call. Pull over and use the thing (though, we may get rear-ended by another cell-phone user that is driving and not paying attention either!).
The sad thing is that for all of us that do not use the phones while driving, there will be many that do, and no matter how vigilant we are in our watch for those that left-turn in front of us, or do other ridiculous traffic rules violations and threaten our lives, and our safety and well being (and that of our family and children) are at risk. Please, everyone, accept the fact that we are all the same, and all subject to reduced reaction time (and thus, more likely to have or cause accidents) while using cell-phones at the same time we are driving -- and, STOP doing it.