You are driving down the road minding your own business when suddenly the side of your car is struck. You spin out of control until the next thing you know your car is stuck in a ditch. You are thinking to yourself, "How in the world did that idiot not see me?" The answer; he was talking on a cell phone. Cell phones are not only distractions to the driver, but are also a dangerous hazard to the other motorist on the road. .
It is obviously difficult to keep your mind on your driving while talking on the phone. According to Sandy Berger, a new English study, Direct Line, shows that using a mobile phone impairs driving behavior more than being drunk. The Direct Line study, carried out over three months, involved testing the reaction times and driving performance of a panel of volunteers using a sophisticated driving simulator. Researchers tested how driving was impaired by talking on a hand-held mobile phone, a hands-free phone, and when drivers had consumed enough alcohol to be above the legal drink-drive limit. (par. 1).
The results demonstrate that drivers' reaction times were, on average, 30% slower when talking on a hand-held mobile phone compared to being drunk and nearly 50% slower than normal driving conditions. According to the tests, drivers talking on a hand-held were less able to maintain a constant speed and found it more difficult to keep a safe distance from the car in front. (Berger, par. 3).
On average, it took hand-held mobile phone users half a second longer to react than normal and a third of a second longer to react compared to when they were drunk. At 70 mph, this half-second difference is equivalent to traveling an additional 46 feet before reacting to a hazard on the road. (Berger, par. 4).
Talking on a cell phone while driving is dangerous. In a recent class survey of ten students, five knew of someone or had personally been in an accident caused by cell phones.