Cellphone use among drivers -- legal but dangerous

Many Memphis area drivers have likely encountered a driver who is driving too slowly, fails to signal when making a turn or sits at a stoplight long after it turns green. In many cases, an individual may encounter or pass drivers engaging in these annoying and sometimes dangerous and illegal driving behaviors and notice that the man or woman sitting behind the wheel is talking on his or her cellphone.

While most members of the public and safety experts agree that texting and driving is dangerous, some don't hold the same opinion when it comes to talking on a cellphone while driving. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reports that 44 states have passed legislation banning texting and driving, however, none have enacted bans on cellphone use altogether.


Fourteen states have banned the use of hand-held cellphones while driving, however research shows that cellphone use in general serves to distract a driver. In fact, according to the non-profit Focus Driven, whether hand-held or hands-free, a driver who is talking on a cellphone is four times more likely to be involved in an accident.

This isn't necessary news to most people. A 2010 survey conducted by the American Automobile Association shows that while two-thirds of respondents agreed that using a cellphone while driving is dangerous, nearly 70 percent admitted to doing just that within the last 30 days.

The fact is that, despite what a driver may believe, the human brain simply isn't able sufficiently process the information needed to carry on a telephone conversation and drive safely at the same time. Tennessee residents who have been injured in a motor vehicle accident in which a driver was distracted and talking on a cellphone may choose to take legal action to recover compensation related to medical expenses, lost wages and disability.

Source: Focusdriven.org, "Dangers of Conversation," 2015

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