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Using a Cellular Phone While You Drive

(which is a TERRIBLE idea!)

Here are some tips on Cellular Phone Use while driving:

You are driving down the highway. You see a car up ahead. He's weaving, his hands are moving wildly, he's not paying attention to the road. DRUNK?  We think not.....he's on his Cellular Phone!!

The growth use of mobile cellular phones has been astronomical as the costs have plummeted, but We can tell you that anyone who talks on the phone while they drive, is usually NOT doing the right thing. You need 110% of your attention to one thing and one thing alone DRIVING....

Operating the Motor Vehicle!!
Researchers at the University of Toronto found that the risk of having a traffic accident while using a cellular phone is the same as that while driving drunk. Their findings were published 2/13/97, in the New England Journal of Medicine. 

The study shows that cell phone users four to five hundred percent more likely to get into traffic accidents than those who do not use them. "Telephones that allowed the hands to be free did not appear to be safer than hand-held telephones," the study said. "This may indicate that the main factor in most motor vehicle collisions is a driver's limitations in attention rather than dexterity.

" An editorial by Malcolm Maclure of the Harvard School of Public Health and Murray Mittleman of Beth Israel  Deaconess Medical Center in
Boston said the research was the first " direct evidence that the use of cellular telephones in cars contributes to roadway collisions." The Toronto study by Dr. Donald Redelmeier and Robert Tibshirani said the risk " is similar to the hazard associated with driving with a blood alcohol level at the legal limit." YIKES!!!! The cellular phone industry responded. They said the study's was flawed.
The Cellular
Telecommunications Industry Association, a trade group, released a statement that said that the study dealt with an association between accidents and the phones. The researchers did not directly assess whether the phones caused accidents. Well of course the phones don't cause accidents.... The drivers do!!
Among their findings:

The risk of an accident was nearly five times higher than normal when a person was on the telephone one minute or five minutes before the accident. The typical call in the study lasted nearly 2 1/2 minutes. The collision rate was four times higher than expected when the call was made less than 15 minutes before the accident. Only after the driver had been off the phone for more than 15 minutes did the risk seem to dissipate.

Younger and older drivers with a cell phone face the same risk. "Subjects with many years of experience in using a cellular telephone still had a significant increase in risk," but the highest risk was among people who had not graduated from high school. Here are some tips if you are going to use your phone while you drive  (and I know NOTHING said here will stop you):

Pick the Right Phone

DO try to get a phone that has "hands free" talking. DO know how the phone works BEFORE you get into the car. DO use memory dialing if possible, to cut down on the time you have your eyes off the road. Many phones now have "hands-free" dialing as well. 
They are voice activated. DON'T use your phone in heavy traffic. It's an accident waiting to happen. DON'T dial at a red light or stop sign. You may think this is the safe thing to do, but you will be impeding traffic. Only dial when you are NOT in traffic! 
DON'T take notes or look up phone numbers while the car is in motion!!!! 

One of the BEST uses of a cellular phone is for emergency purposes. 9-1-1 is a free call. If you need a local police, ask them to connect you.

Please...only use 9-1-1 for EMERGENCIES like:
Traffic crashes 
Traffic hazards 
A Reckless or Drunk driver 
Medical emergencies 
A driver in distress 
A crime in progress 
I'm LOST" is NOT a 9-1-1 call!!! 
Be Smart .... Stay Alive......Keep Both Hands on the Wheel Not on Your Phone Watch the Road!!
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