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Cell Phones and the Dangers of Distracted Driving

            There is plenty of available information to support the belief that cell phone use while driving significantly increases the chances of getting into an accident, and this seems to be widely agreed upon. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation's "Traffic Safety Notes" from 2009, 995 deaths and 24,000 injuries had reports of cell phones as a distraction in driving. These figures total to 18% and 5% of the total number of deaths and injuries in distraction-related crashes, respectively. Inattentive or careless driving is a large and dangerous issue, and cell phones clearly contribute to it.
             For many of us, electronic communication has become a huge part of daily life. Even if you try to avoid using some of the overabundant technology that is available today, you still end up having to indulge in a fair amount of it for work, school, communicating to loved ones, and keeping in touch with friends. It seems there's no escaping it. This, coupled with the amount of time we spend in our cars, can make it tough to resist the temptation of chatting on the phone – even knowing the dangers. So, what is the solution? Should people simply and completely abstain from this dual-tasking? Is there another option for communication while driving? Asking these questions leads to the possible answer of hands-free technology.
             Many people have turned to hands-free mobile phones, especially in places where using a conventional handheld cell phone while driving has become illegal. A Canadian news network, Canwest News Service, has suggested this is a viable option in their article, "Clearing the Air for Safe Driving: Hands-Free Only." They suggest that, "to avoid distracted-driving accidents, drivers should invest in new technologies, such as hands-free and Bluetooth devices, that allow them to keep their eyes on the road and avoid crashes." Pictured below are some of the different hands-free apparatus.

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