Dangers of Conversation

Cell phone use has grown dramatically in recently years. In 1995, cell phone subscriptions covered only 11% of the United States population; in 2010, that number grew to 93%. This has led to a substantial increase in cell phone use while driving and distracted driving-related deaths.
At any one time, 9% of drivers are talking on cell phones, making them 4 times as likely to crash.
Talking on a cell phone while driving requires the brain to multitask—a process it cannot do safely while driving. While a growing number of drivers are turning to hands-free devices, studies show hands-free devices provide no safety benefit. The area of the brain responsible for processing moving visual information—a vital part of driving—has 37% less capacity to gather and process critical driving data and instead focuses on the cell phone conversation.
It’s the conversation, not the device, that creates the danger.
Almost 70% of the respondents to the 2010 AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety survey reported talking on a cell phone while driving in the previous 30 days, yet nearly 2 in 3 drivers say that drivers talking on cell phones are a threat to their personal safety. People realize that talking on a cell phone while driving is a dangerous behavior, but they continue to engage in this behavior.

We can all help put an end to this deadly problem by not to driving while using a cell phone and encouraging others to do the same. This simple commitment will save lives and create a safer environment for us all.

Additional Resources
U.S. Department of Transportation
National Safety Council “Understanding the Distracted Brain” White Paper
National Safety Council Cell Phone Policy Kit
NHTSA 2009 Distracted Driving Facts