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The number of cell phone subscribers in the United States continues to rise, so does the number of people talking on cell phones while driving. Some of us wonder how we managed to survive at all before we had that little cell phone stuck to our ears? And with so many cell phone users, there's a good chance that a lot of them are driving a car right now, and talking on the phone, or texting to friends, while they do it.

This is not a good idea. Research shows that talking on cell phones while driving is four times more likely to get you into an accident.

Resisting the Urge to Talk on Cell Phones While Driving

We live in a world of multi-tasking and time pressures. Using your driving time to call Mom, make a date with a friend or check in with a business associate might seem like a great idea. Using this "down time" so usefully makes us feel efficient. And texting, emailing or otherwise entertaining ourselves in traffic seems to make the congestion a little less aggravating.

Trouble is, it can also make us less healthy... or even less alive... if it gets us into an accident and affects your car insurance. This is especially true for the youngest, least experienced drivers, who may be the most likely to be texting and turning a corner at the same time.

Risks Drivers Take

Most people understand that talking on a cell phone while driving isn't a safe choice. Even with the dramatic rise in cell phone usage in the last few years, 91% of people recently polled know that this is a mistake. The results showed an even split between men and women owning cell phones, and those with higher education and more money owned at least one such device.

The Need to Use Your Cell Phones While Driving

Everyone knows how distracting talking or texting on cell phones while driving can be, but sometimes you just HAVE to make or take a call. Immediately. If that's you, slow down. If possible, pull over to the side of the road and stop. Keep the conversation short and avoid emotional and intense conversation. Make arrangements to call back after you get where you're going.

If you see someone else talking on a cell phone while driving, don't honk. That will only distract them more and might cause a sudden over-reaction resulting in an accident. Just steer clear of them.

Set rules for yourself and your family to abide by:

  • Don't use a cell phone while driving if at all possible.
  • Definitely avoid using a cell phone while driving in areas with a lot of pedestrians, especially children.
  • If you must use your phone, keep the volume turned up or put it on speaker so an inability to hear the conversation doesn't add another distraction.
  • Use a hands free set if at all possible.
  • Pull off the road out of traffic and stop if you really need to make an important call.
  • Keep all calls as short as possible


What Are the Solutions?

Some cities and states have outright banned the use of a cell phone while driving. Others are looking into laws that require use of hands-free devices. Know the laws in your area.

Insurance Companies and Cell Phones

Your insurance company wants you to have a cell phone in your car. Having a way to communicate in case of an emergency is a wonderful change in our lifestyle. Many models even provide a camera you can use to record physical details in case of an accident. But using your good judgment about when to use cell phones while driving on the road--and when not to--is imperative.

Posted 5:05 PM

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