Eight of our dear 50 states are kicking hand held cell phones out of the driver’s seat, and Nevada is about to be added as the ninth. Another thirty states ban texting. Why? 20 percent of accidents are caused by “distracted” driving (Las Vegas Review Capital Journal).
With each state that adds the no hand held cell phone rule, we have to revisit the big questions, like: Is it having the conversation that is distracting, or is it physically holding another object than the steering wheel? No state has outlawed having conversations, just holding a phone while doing so, which leads us common folk to believe that it’s the act of holding the phone the lawmakers are most worried about.
Yet anyone who has used a headset knows that not only do you have to hook it up to your phone (unless you have an uber-sweet high tech in-car system that listens to you talking to the car, reads your thoughts, etc.), but you still have to answer the phone by pushing a button. Is this really different than channel surfing on the radio? While we are all about decreasing accidents and saving lives, is it really possible to make laws that force people to pay attention when they drive?
I honestly think it’s more dangerous digging in the deep dark depths of my purse for lost lipstick than it is talking on my phone for 2 minutes—under one condition, being that the phone must be easily accessible. The lawmakers efforts to control what we do in the car is valiant and understandable…but how much of “distracted driving” is holding a cell phone, as opposed to say, turning around to control a whining kid in their car seat behind the driver.
What’s your opinion on the cell phone laws?
Read more articles on our Lebanon Ford blog.