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It’s almost impossible to drive anywhere these days without seeing someone texting or driving behind the wheel. In fact, one poll by Nationwide Insurance says that 81% of people admit to talking on a phone while driving. And yet, while we’ve all heard the statistics about how dangerous it is to use a cell phone (even a hands-free device), we seem to adopt an "it-can’t-happen-to-me" attitude about cell phone safety.

So let me remind you about how dangerous cell phone use while driving really is, with facts from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), and other reputable sources:

Car accidents that were caused by cell-phone use make up almost 25% of all automobile accidents.

Texting while driving can make you up to TWENTY-THREE times more likely to get into an automobile accident

-Driving with a BAC of .08 is actually safer than driving while using a cell phone, as far as reaction times are concerned (This does NOT mean that driving under the influence of alcohol is safe, or a smart idea under any circumstances)

– There is no discernible difference between using a handheld cellular device and a hands-free cellular device, as far as cognitive distraction is concerned

The danger of cell phone use while driving is not the conclusion just one overly-cautious university or organization, but is the consensus of over 50 peer-reviewed scientific studies. An organization, FocusDriven, has even been created by concerned citizens to raise public awareness about the dangers of using your cell phone while driving, much in the fashion of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD).

If there is a message you desperately need to convey to someone who is outside of your vehicle, either have a passenger use your cell phone for you, or pull off the road to say what you need to say. You wouldn’t condone drinking and driving, would you? Then why would you willingly do something that has proven to be even more dangerous and reckless?

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