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 |  Jul 13 2011, 1:08 PM

We’ve said it before and we’re going to say it now: hand-held gadgets and driving just don’t mix. And there’s a new study to back us up on this – according to a report by the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), texting, talking on a cell phone and other distractions caused by electronic gadgets cause up to 25 percent of car crashes.

The GHSA, a nonprofit group that works to improve traffic safety, reports that drivers are distracted about half the time they’re driving. And it’s no surprise that using a cellphone is the culprit behind many  car accidents.

Although the information isn’t new to us, the report goes one step further to question the effectiveness of handheld cellphone and texting bans. And here’s where it starts to get juicy – it states that there’s no conclusive evidence that talking using a Bluetooth headset or other hands-free method is any safer than talking with a phone in your hand. Not only that, but the GHSA reports that the texting bans are difficult to enforce.

So what’s the solution? For starters, the GHSA thinks that the government should completely ban new drivers from using a cell phone while driving and that all drivers be banned from texting.  It’s interesting to note that an earlier study by GHSA stated it did not support a total ban of in-car phone usage and texting bans.

What do you think of the report? Do you think that all drivers should be banned from texting and new drivers be banned from using a mobile phone? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.

[Source: Kicking Tires]

 |  May 26 2010, 7:47 AM

state-vehicle-safety-laws

Heading out on a road tip this summer that will take you across state lines? Before you head out, do a little prep work and find out if the state you’re visiting has any safety laws you may not be aware of.

An important and trendy hot topic this summer has to be bans on cell phones. The list for states that have banned texting and talking on a cell phone while driving is growing. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has up-to-date information on where it’s ok to call for directions while behind the wheel, and all the states where you’ll get slapped with a hefty fine if you’re caught yakking.

The rise in cell phone bans comes from the rise in car accidents where distracted drivers are cited as the cause. In 2008 almost 6,000 people died and more than half a million people were injured on U.S. roads in crashes that involved distracted drivers. The term distracted driving can be defined as anything that takes the driver’s hands off the wheel or eyes off the road for more than two seconds or interrupts concentration.

While talking on a cell phone is distracting enough, texting is even worse. This is because it involves three things that distract drivers the most: visual (looking away from the road), manual (punching keys on a wireless device), and cognitive (reading or composing a text message).

Another great site to check regarding safety laws is the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA). Here, you’ll find a state-by-state summary of vehicle safety laws, including child safety seats, speed and red-light cameras, and drunk driving.

 |  Apr 30 2010, 10:45 AM

oprah-winfrey-no-phone-zone

Happy No Phone Zone Day!  When Oprah Winfrey talks, people listen. Now, Oprah is telling you to shut up – well, at least while you’re driving. The talk show diva has partnered with the Governors Highway Safety Association and a variety of other agencies to get the message out about distracted driving.

On a special live show airing today (April 30), she’ll be dedicating the hour to the dangers of driving and cell phone use. It might not be the sexiest of topics, but it’s an important one, especially since many provinces and states have passed cell phone laws that penalize drivers using hand-held mobile phones and devises.

The show is promoting a new awareness campaign called “No Phone Zone,” which cautions drivers not to talk or text on their mobile devices while driving. During this special episode, Oprah will interview the families of victims of distracted driving collisions, as well as government officials, advocacy organizations, parents, youth, and law enforcement officers to discuss best practices and steps to limit distracted driving.  The hour-long Oprah Winfrey Show will also host viewing rallies in cities across the US, including Detroit, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C.

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