Maryland is about to follow suit and go hands-free, along with fellow states such as California, Oregon, Washington, New York and New Jersey. As of Friday the use of hand held cell phones will be banned for all drivers in Maryland. Using hands-free devices will be compulsory for those on the road.
Distracted driving comes in many forms such as eating, drinking, fidgeting with the radio, tending to small kids in the back seat and even talking to your passengers while driving but cell phone use and texting are the most noteworthy.
A study by the American Journal of Public Health, released on September 23, 2010 found that distracted driving fatalities caused by cell phone use and texting soared 28 percent, from 4,572 in 2005 to 5,870 in 2008. A Transportation Department study showed that motorists who send and receive text messages take their eyes off the road for an average of 4.6 seconds out of every 6 seconds while texting.
In addition, even though we all know it’s dangerous to text and drive, 34% of teens aged 13-17 and 47% of adults aged 18+ have admitted to texting while driving according to Mashable.
What do these stats tell us?
Yes, we’ve all done it, reaching for the phone to make a call or send a text while driving. Realistically it’s almost impossible to completely stop drivers from using their phones – even after legislation – unless they switch it off or leave the phones at home. Think of busy professionals on the go.
At the very least by using hands-free devices to send text messages or take a call, drivers can keep their eyes on the road and hands on the wheel.