I live in a country where kids,parents , even grandparents are possessed by their cellphone demons to the point where I have to act as a cellphone Nazi in my teaching classes and remove 2-3 cellphone per week from abusers. When I begin my commutes to and from home to work, I am regularly assaulted by, penned in and often cutoff by cellphone wielding drivers (of both genders) who are so oblivious to their surroundings that they risk my life and theirs (and often their unsecured offspring)while gaily crossing lanes, swerving abruptly, floating down the fastlane at 50km/hr., staring off into the distance engaged in a hearty chat with God knows who...all the time ignoring the essential requirements for safe and defensive driving.
Hands free phones are still a distraction, tuning the radio is a distraction, adjusting the mirror is a distraction....driving safely is a full-time occupation and that is why driving instructors tell you to adjust mirrors, radios, seatbelts, etc.....before you drive off. I have been involved in a few fender benders caused by other drivers who were focussed in cellphoneland and never realized they were too close to my rear bumper, pulling into a passing lane that was already occupied or partially so, needing to brake slowly and all this without, of course signalling in a timely and visible manner...because their hands(and brains) were tied up elsewhere.
Cellphones and DVD players, and IPods etc. are wonderful when you are walking or supine or seated but have no place in a drivers repetoire.
Recent research by the DMV in NYC indicate that there has been a 30% rise since 1999 in non-fatal, non DUI accidents just involving drivers distracted by cellphone usage! As well, the American Psychological Association strongly discourages drivers using anything extraneous while driving, including eating, drinking and cellchatting, based on their research showing a significant decline in attention and alertness of drivers using these things. The reaction time of an average adult male/female is insufficient to prevent an accident past 40 mph even when they are fully alert and have both hands on the wheel...add in distractions and you have a receipe for disaster. Add in underage and youthful drivers (using cells, etc.)and whose judgement is already questionable (on occasion)and the scale of the disaster is geometrically increased.
The human mind and its neurological parameters are not well designed for multitasking at high speeds and when manouvering a 1 ton vehicule around equally menacing and speedy objects. Lets legislate cells and other serious distractions out of the fastlane and into the offramp where they belong.
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