Use of phone can wait while driving vehicle

Use of phone can wait while driving vehicle

Tristan Allen, Reporter

Every year, over 200,000 vehicle crashes in the United States involve texting, according to the National Safety Council (NSC).

This is just one of the many reasons why your smartphone can wait.

One clear reason your smartphone can wait until you reach a complete stop is to avoid crashing.

Distracted driving in general, including using a cell phone, claimed 3,477 lives in 2015 alone, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

The NSC thinks that in addition to 200,000 vehicle crashes being the result of using a cell phone as many as 70 percent of people may be on their smartphone while driving.

All drivers should take the high road and try not to be one of those 70 percent who use their phone while driving. After all, the NSC says that using a phone while driving makes a driver four times more likely to be in a crash.

Just using your phone to text someone is dangerous. Texting may seem like it is a quick thing to do and does not distract the driver for too long, but while driving, it is quite the contrary.

A report by CQ Researcher said that it takes a driver five seconds to send a text message. This may seem like a small amount of time, but a study in the Journal of Adolescent Health found that one second is the maximum amount of time someone can spend sending a text message without increasing risk.

Hands-free use of a phone seems like a solution to preventing crashes, but any distraction can be an issue.

The brain never actually does two things at once, but rather toggles between various tasks. The NSC found that brain activity for processing moving images decreases by up to one-third while listening to or talking on a phone. The NSC also estimates that “drivers looking out of the windshield can miss seeing up to 50 percent of what is around them” when on their phones.

If the brain’s ability to process moving images decreases 30 percent and you miss up to 50 percent of what can be seen through the windshield when you’re on the phone, there is no way you can be a safe driver.

Another reason you should not be on your phone while driving is that sometimes it is against the law to do so.

Kansas Statute 8-15,111 states, “…no person shall operate a motor vehicle on a public road or highway while using a wireless communications device to write, send or read a written communication.”

While this law does not apply to using a phone to make a call, it does not mean that being on the phone with someone is not dangerous.

Driving may seem scary and full of risk, but it does not have to be. All you have to do is take the pledge to keep your mind on the road, not on your phone at