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On the Road, Off the Phone Campaign Takes Place June 26-30

In an effort to increase public awareness about safety, the National Safety Council (NSC) designates each June as National Safety Month. Each week focuses on a different safety theme. This year, week five is devoted to highlighting the dangers of cell phone use behind the wheel.

With the increasing number of cell phone subscribers-from 11 percent of the population in 1995 to 93 percent of the population in 2010-more people are using cell phones while driving than ever before. Although recently the dangers of distracted driving have attracted a significant amount of public attention, many drivers, especially teens, continue to text or talk on phones while driving.

To appreciate the scope of the problem, almost one of every four motor vehicle accidents involves the use of a cell phone. Over 20 percent of auto accidents involve cell phone conversations (including hands-free) while two percent involve texting while driving.

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, using a hand-held device while driving makes it four times more likely the driver will experience a car accident. Some believe that hands-free devices offer a safe alternative. According to research by the University of Utah, however, using either type of device while driving significantly slows the reaction time of the driver.

To avoid being tempted to use your phone while driving consider turning your phone on silent, or keeping it in the glove box or trunk while you are behind the wheel. If you need to reach someone find a safe location, pull over and put your car in park before using your phone. If you are speaking on the phone to someone who is driving tell him or her you will call them later. Taking simple steps like these just may prevent a fatal accident.

Source:On the Road, Off the Phone

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