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Driving with a cell phone dials disaster
A study released in February 1997 by the New England
Journal of Medicine might make you put some distance
between yourself and drivers busy talking on their cell
University of Toronto researchers discovered:
Cell phone users were four to five times
more likely to have crashes than non-users.
Cell phone units that allow the hands to be free offer no
safety advantage over hand-held units.
- The main factor in most motor vehicle collisions is
Be cell phone savvy
While convenient, using cell phones while driving can be
The American Automobile Association
offers these tips:
Make sure your phone is mounted where you can easily reach
it while driving. The phone should be within comfortable
reach in your usual driving position and as close as
possible to your line of vision.
Know all the operations of your cellular phone and learn to
use it without looking.
Keep your attention on the road by programming frequently
called numbers into the phone's memory to minimize dialing.
Dial sensibly. Wait for a stoplight, pull off the road to
dial or ask a passenger to dial for you.
Don't use your cellular phone in distracting traffic
situations. Pull off the road to make a call.
Be careful about where you stop to make calls.
When calling 9-1-1 to report an emergency, be prepared to
provide the closest major cross streets or off-ramps, and
know your cellular phone number.
Use your voice mail to take calls or leave yourself
messages. Never take notes while driving.
Disconnect your cellular phone when using jumper cables; the
power surge could burn out your phone.
A few states actually regulate cell phone use, including
California, Florida, Massachusetts, Oklahoma and Minnesota.
Oklahoma and Minnesota require police to include cell phone
information in accident reports. Several countries prohibit
cell phone use while driving including England, Switzerland,
Spain, Australia and Italy.
Police suggest calling 9-1-1 from your cell phone only in
Any life-threatening event
Any crime against you or another person
A vehicle or object blocking traffic lanes
A suspected drunk driver
Do not use 9-1-1 for situations
A stalled vehicle off the roadway
A broken-down vehicle that is not a hazard
Winter road conditions
A stolen vehicle when nothing is known about the suspected
Asking for directions
Testing your phone
When you dial 9-1-1, the
call from your cellular phone is routed to the appropriate
emergency response authority. Be prepared to provide:
Exact location of vehicle in distress
Nature of emergency
Your name and cellular number, including area code
Be safe on the road