How does technology affect traffic? Wait! Are you reading in your car?

Distracted Driver
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series: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7.  


Are you a distracted driver? Do you know one?

I confess: I have used my cell phone while driving—and not in the hands-free, voice-activated mode. I have slipped on my reading glasses, scrolled through my contacts, and made a call—all while cruising blithely down the highway.

I don’t do it often. The last time I did, I looked up and was startled by a car entering the highway, microns from my front bumper. I haven’t used my cell phone in the car since.

Distracted driving is another problem caused by technology that allows us to do something that our laws and plain common sense have not caught up with.

A recent Pew survey finds that one in four American teenagers text while driving, and half say they’ve been in a car while a driver has done the same. (My interpretation of these two findings: Teens do it a lot more than they admit in a survey!)

Some say that cell phone use is tantamount to driving while drunk and our laws should ban use of mobile media while driving.

Fewer than half of the states have banned using mobile devices while driving. My home state of Michigan has no bans, though local jurisdictions may do so. Detroit, for example, has banned cell phone use while driving. (Click here to see a map of the various bans by state.)

I support a total ban on the use of mobile media while driving. How do you feel about it?

Have you used your cell phone while driving? Had a close call? Tell us about your experiences.


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