Safety advocates have always told us texting and driving is dangerous but now they want a total ban on cell phones... and for good reason.
The National Safety Council's annual report found 26 percent of all U.S. crashes are tied to phone use. 5 percent involved texting. The new data makes it pretty clear; it's not solely the act of using the phone that's necessarily the problem, it's the intellectual distraction that is created by cell phones when safe driving requires the driver's undivided attention on the road in front of him or her.
CBS News in New York reports that safety advocates are lobbying now for a total ban on driver phone use, pointing to studies that headsets do not reduce drive distraction.
Some motorists said they support the idea.
“Everybody’s on a telephone. If people do cut you off, you look and they’re talking on the telephone. I think they are a problem.” a driver told WCBS 880's Paul Murnane. “Hands-free or not.”
“People just get too involved in the conversation. Either pull over or wait,” said another man.
The survey found a 1 percent increase in cellphone-involved accidents compared with the previous year.
A spokesperson for the non-profit Governors Highway Safety Association told Marketwatch.com that it may be that drivers are more comfortable calling than texting in a moving vehicle.
The group believes the data on distracted crashes is underreported.
Which way do you think the auto industry will go? Will they continue to add new bells and whistles enabling phone conversations, texts, social media access and more distractions, or will the pendulum swing toward common sense and safety?