How often have you been behind an erratic driver, one who veered off the highway and crossed the center line right in front of you? For a moment, you questioned whether you were following a drunk driver until you pulled alongside the car and realized it was just someone talking on their cell phone.
I never recognized the deadly comparison until I learned this startling statistic. Using a cell phone while you’re behind the wheel will delay your reaction time as much as driving with a blood alcohol level of 0.08. Let’s put that in simple terms. Driving while talking on a cell phone is comparable to driving with a blood alcohol level of 0.08. It means you are driving drunk. At a 0.08 blood alcohol level, you’re considered over the legal limit in the eyes of the law in North Carolina.
When you realize driving while using your cell reduces the amount of brain activity by a whopping 37% and increases your chance of being involved in a serious car crash by four times, you begin to recognize the risk you are taking with your life and the lives of others. Who wants to drive with those odds against you and more importantly, who wants to drive on the same highway with those who do?
When you consider that motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for teenagers in the United States, you begin to see the mounting danger for inexperienced teenage drivers who text and drive. It’s not safe under any circumstances. As a parent, insist your young drivers never use their cell phone while the car is moving. This should be a non-negotiable rule for all parents of teenage drivers. Lead by example. Put your cell phone away when driving and never allow your teenager to drive while using their cell. This simple rule could save a life. It could be yours or someone you love.