Breaking The Law: Driving While On The Phone
You've done it. Don't even try to deny it.
Even if you live in a state with laws requiring the use of a hands-free headset while speaking on the cell phone, it's almost a certainty you've at least once broken that law.
Even if you truly, honestly believe it's dangerous to do so, you just can't help yourself when your snappy, downloaded ring tone jingle jangles and you snatch it up to answer the phone.
The Harris Poll has the evidence, so don't try to deny it: 72 percent of those surveyed confessed to using their phones while driving, and 66 percent of those folks confessed to using hand-held rather than hands-free.
Harris surveyed 2,681 adults (those 18 and older) in the United States between May 11 and 18, online. You can download a PDF with charts and tables here.
The National Safety Council is pushing for a complete ban on cell phone use while driving - hands-free or otherwise. It has cited a study performed in 2000 and updated in 2003 by the Harvard Center of Risk Analysis, which "estimates that cell phone use while driving contributes to 6 percent of crashes, which equates to 636,000 crashes, 330,000 injuries, 12,000 serious injuries and 2,600 deaths each year." The annual financial toll, according to the study, is $43 billion. And that study was funded by AT&T Wireless.
Here's some of the key findings of the Harris survey:
The poll concludes there is a "need for a major campaign to greatly reduce drivers’ cell phone use and texting."
Whether such a campaign would include a push for regulation would seem to be questionable, seeing as so many people already are ignoring current laws.