The Disadvantages of Cell Phones While Driving

by Jennifer Uhl
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Some states have banned cell phone use while driving unless you are using a hands-free device, and other states are following suit. Using a cell phone while driving has numerous disadvantages beyond legal ramifications, including serious safety considerations.

Legal Ramifications

As of 2010, 14 states have banned the use of cell phones while driving. The first state to enact this ban was New York; it affected all hand-held electronic devices. Some states' bans are for only certain types of drivers, such as bus drivers. When an accident occurs that may involve a cell phone, police officers in some states are required to gather information from the device during the investigation.

Hazardous Distractions

Total concentration is required when it comes to driving, and using a mobile phone can compromise this focus. You need to keep both hands on the steering wheel to be the most effective driver. When you text, read messages or talk on a cell phone without a hands-free device, not only is your focus compromised, but you can't keep both hands on the wheel. Cell phone use when you are driving can also affect your alertness of the surroundings, which can make you prone to collisions.

Erratic Driving

People who use a cell phone in the car can drive erratically, which puts others at risk. They may fail to give the proper signals, miss road signs, change lanes abruptly or respond slowly to hazards. Erratic driving patterns can be extremely dangerous to everyone else on the road, including other drivers, pedestrians and animals.

Aggressive Driving

Motorists involved in a stressful or emotional phone conversation may inadvertently exhibit aggressive behavior while they drive, such as road rage.

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