For all you California Residents reading my article, I have a special testimony to make. It has been little over two years since California Vehicle Codes 23123 and 23124 took effect, abolishing the use of handheld cellular phones while driving. This is embarrassing for me to share that despite this law in effect, I have still used my cell phone conspicuously and furtively. During the night when I am not visibly noticeable, I would use my cell phone while driving without worrying about being seen. During the daytime, I would put the cell phone in speaker mode and converse while driving. While my latter experience was not “technically” illegal, many inconveniences presented themselves to me, especially due to poor sound quality and air static. It seemed like a good alternative to receiving a citation. According to the Uniform Vail and Penalty Schedule, “a first violation is punishable by a $20 fine and subsequent violations are $50. However, if a driver is cited for other violations, a first offense is $76 and a second offense if $190” (Ashkan, 2008). Not exactly cheap, are they? I also thought I was one of the few people to eschew the possible ticket, until I noticed numerous people doing the same thing every day! I was not disappointed, but rather amazed at how many people were also utilizing dangerous driving techniques.
I speak from personal experience when I say that using your cell-phone while driving is hazardous. A couple of close encounters made me change my mind about “being sneaky” while driving. For instance, I was driving down the freeway at night while talking to my girlfriend on the phone. I accidentally dropped my phone and tried to pick it back up. This caused me to take my eyes off the street for a split second, which nearly resulted in my car crashing into the center divider on the freeway! Texting is even more perilous than speaking on the phone while driving. A study conducted by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute shows that for every 6 seconds of drive time, a driver sending or receiving a text message spends 4.6 of those seconds with their eyes off the road! They declared that of all cell phone related tasks – including talking, dialing, or reaching for the phone – texting while driving is the most dangerous. This fact is further substantiated by these following statistics: 1) A driver dialing a cell phone is 2.8 times more likely to get into a crash than a non-distracted driver. 2) A driver reaching for a cell phone or any other electronic device is 1.4 times more likely to experience a car crash. 3) A driver talking on their phone is 1.3 time more likely to get into an accident. 4) A truck driver texting while driving is 23.2 times more likely to experience a truck accident.
These statistics are shocking yet many people, including myself, forget to grasp the gravity of this situation. Recently, I witnessed unusually congested traffic on the road I take to go home. When I found out the cause, I was shocked. A police officer was texting while driving and ended up getting into a car accident, killing the passenger. In order to make the streets safer place for everyone, I decided to support “Oprah’s No Phone Zone” pledge.
Along with the rest of the Geeks at Accessorygeeks.com, I have pledged to not talk or text while driving! We want you to join this cause to help create a safer driving environment. If you must talk on the phone while driving, a hands-free headset is essential. If you feel like earphones are too obsolete, there are great selections of Bluetooth headsets widely available. We can help you select the best Bluetooth headset for you, should you decide to join this cause. To aid your decision, AccessoryGeeks offers 10% off bluetooth headsets with the coupon code NOPHONE-Zone.