Car Accidents and Cell Phones Go Hand-In-Hand

Did you know most US states prohibit cell phone use of any kind for drivers under 19? Further, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands prohibit all drivers from using hand-held cell phones while driving. That means drivers in those regions may only speak on a phone while driving if they use their vehicle’s infotainment system or “speaker phone” and keep their hands on the steering wheel.

There’s good evidence to justify the legislation.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), at any given moment there may be up to 974,000 drivers talking on their phones. In fact, an estimated 60% of all cell phone use happens while driving. Research by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) also reveals that drivers using cell phones are four times more likely to be in a car accident. Talking on your cell phone while driving diverts your attention and slows your response time.

The IIHS has done more than 125 studies that prove there are consequences to this type of distracted behavior. Drivers age 16 to 24 are the most frequent offenders. Another investigation, published by the National Safety Council, estimates that cell phones distract you twice as much as listening attentively to the radio while driving.

Although restrictions apply mostly to hand-held phones, researchers believe talking on any kind of phone, speaker or hands-free, distracts you enough to cause an accident. For more information, read NHTSA’s frequently asked questions.

If you’re in the market for a vehicle, be sure to get quotes online before you visit a dealership. It’s easy to get quotes from any dealer in your area by requesting them here. You can also get loan quotes online.


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