The Cell Phone Safety Controversy

It’s hard to imagine life without cell phones. Cellular phones allow us to carry out business transactions, catch up with friends, and maintain channels of communication no matter where we are or what we’re doing. For many people, cell phones are an essential part of life. The picture isn’t entirely rosy, however. An ongoing controversy has been raging over the potential safety hazard posed by talking on cell phones in the car.

Just how dangerous can talking on a cell phone be? Recent studies have indicated that people engaged in a cell-phone conversation, particularly an emotionally charged or complicated conversation, display reaction times similar to those of drunk drivers. Driving, as it turns out, takes more concentration than many people think.

When the cell phone safety issue was first raised, one response was the introduction of a variety of hands-free devices to the market. The argument was that such devices would eliminate the distraction posed by holding and using a cell phone, thus making them perfectly safe to use while driving. Unfortunately, this assumption is not entirely correct. Studies have shown that the main distracting factor is not the act of handling a cell phone, but the act of participating in conversation. In other words, using a hands-free device is no safer than a normal phone.

Another issue at stake is whether the government ought to regulate cell phone usage in the car. Advocates of such legislation point to results like the ones above, arguing that such an important safety hazard cannot be ignored. On the other hand, critics argue that banning cell phones in the car is a slippery slope. If conversation is the true culprit, would outlawing passenger interaction be next? Listening to the radio? Daydreaming?

Whichever side of the debate you happen to be on, one fact is undeniable. Cell phones do pose a significant distraction which can contribute to an accident. If you have been injured in a collision involving cell phone usage, contact a Wausau car accident lawyer at Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ® by calling 800-242-2874.