Cell phones can be life-saving communication tools to have ready in a vehicle in case of emergency. However, actually using a cell phone while driving may be life threatening. Many different studies have shown that when drivers use a phone while driving, it can be very dangerous. At some point during the use of a cell phone, a driver's eyes are bound to be distracted from the road.
Studies have shown that new drivers are especially prone to have an accident when they use a cell phone while driving. The reasoning for this is that new drivers have less experience in focusing on driving during distractions. Also, several studies done on teen drivers found that many teens send text messages while driving. Since text messaging involves the hands and the eyes, this is thought to be more distracting and dangerous than when drivers talk a cell phone.
All drivers, not just teens or other new drivers, who use a cell phone while driving are said by studies to be at least four times more likely to have an accident than drivers who don't use a phone behind the wheel. Such studies have inspired many countries, including the United States, to have at least some bans on hand-held cell phone use while driving. However, many people feel that these restrictions are not enough because studies have also shown that hand-held cell phones are just a part of the problem.
Hands-free models were still found in many studies to distract the driver even though he or she had both hands on the wheel. In some studies, drivers themselves have admitted that they've become distracted emotionally when they use any type of cell phone while driving. When driver concentration is impaired, the focus is away from the road and from operating the vehicle at maximum efficiency. Also, there could be a false sense of hope if people think they are being safe because they're using a hands-free model while driving.
Some companies have enacted policies for their employees that state that an employee must not use a cell phone while driving, but must always pull over and stop the vehicle safely before using the phone. Some studies have shown that talking on a cell phone while driving is actually just as dangerous as driving drunk. Both factors can impair concentration as well as reaction time to other vehicles or problems on the road. If a cell phone is used in crawling traffic such as a traffic jam, it is not as likely to cause danger as when a driver uses a cell phone at even moderate speeds or on twisting and turning roads.