Cellphone use is one of the leading causes of distracted driving car accidents in the state of Florida. To counter this, state law bans texting and messaging on a handheld device while driving. This does not mean the practice is uncommon. Much to the contrary. Cellphone use while driving is ubiquitous, so common that most people don’t even notice it happening around them – even when it’s their own behavior.
July is National Cellphone Courtesy Month. Founded in 2002 by Jacqueline Whitmore, a Palm Beach manners expert, National Cellphone Courtesy Month “encourages us to evaluate our cellular habits and consider others before we reach for our phone.” Nowhere is this more vital, perhaps, than while driving.
A Quick Look at the Three Types of Distraction
The three types of distracted driving are:
- Visual. Anything that takes your eyes off of the road
- Manual. Anything that takes your hands off of the steering wheel
- Cognitive. Anything that takes your mind off of the driving
Alone or in combination, each of these types of distraction are dangerous to everyone on the road.
Is Putting the Phone Down Enough?
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has found that texting while driving is as visually distracting as driving while blindfolded and as cognitively distracting as driving after four alcoholic beverages. Clearly, putting your phone down while you drive is the safest choice.
But is simply putting your phone down enough? Likely not if you’ve developed a habit of immediately checking your phone each time you receive an alert. National Cellphone Courtesy Month is a great time to reconsider your cellphone habits and recommit to helping keep yourself and others safe.
Hands-Free Isn’t Necessarily Safer
Turning your phone off while you drive eliminates the risk of cellphone distraction entirely. Even in cars with hands-free technology, turning your phone off is the safest bet. Studies have found that hands-free technology is cognitively distracting and, due to imperfect AI, often requires manual edits – which are visually, manually, and cognitively distracting – before messages can be sent.
If you have been injured or a loved one has been killed by a distracted driver, please call Kelleher Law at 833-546-3675. Located in Naples, we welcome clients from all nearby areas of Florida.