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Group calls for nationwide ban on cell phones while driving

A number of states currently have laws requiring a hands-free device while driving. These states believe that accidents can be reduced by minimizing distraction. A hands-free device allows the driver to keep both hands on the wheel (though from experience most people drive with one hand anyway). Now the USA National Safety Council wants a nationwide ban on cell phones while driving. This probably won’t be met with much support, but there is plenty of evidence for such a measure.

First is that six percent of crashes can be attributed to using a cell phone while driving. As the linked article notes, that leads to 2,600 deaths each year, nevermind the overall crash and injury numbers. These grim figures should at least lead to a trial of such legislature. If it saves lives, it’s worth a shot.

Then we have the drunk driving comparison:

“Studies show that driving while talking on a cell phone is extremely dangerous and puts drivers at a four times greater risk of a crash,” said Janet Froetscher, president and CEO of the NSC. “Driving drunk is also dangerous and against the law. When our friends have been drinking, we take the car keys away. It’s time to take the cell phone away.”

There have been studies conducted which conclude that drunk driving is as dangerous as talking and driving. We also learned last year that talking on a cell phone is more dangerous than talking to a passenger. True, these studies might not be telling the whole story. The evidence is beginning to mount, though. Perhaps a national law is in order.