People are more likely to cause serious accidents when they use cell phones while driving. In fact, a study conducted by the University of Utah shows drivers who use cell phones while driving are as impaired as drunk drivers.
Driving and using a cell phone at the same time is comparable to driving with a 0.08 percent of blood-alcohol level, which is the minimum level that defines illegal drunken driving in a number of states. They also found that both hands free and hand-held cell phones caused almost the same amount of impairment.
Though driving while using a hand-held cell phone is illegal in several states, including New York, it is not unusual to see drivers talking, texting and surfing the internet as they drive on some of the busiest roads and highways.
Consequences of Using a Cell Phone While Driving
The major difference between drunk drivers and drivers who use cell phones is that the number of drivers using cell phones is increasing every year. The following are some of the consequences associated with driving while using a cell phone:
- Deaths & Accidents: Drivers are more than a 50% more at risk increase in causing an accident when using a cell phone while driving. In fact, according to the National Highway Traffic Administration, in 2011 more 3,300 people were killed as a result of distractions caused by cellular devices.
- Hefty Fines: If you are caught using a cell phone while driving, you can be subject to serious fines. In New York, you can be fined $50 to $200 for a first offense, $50-$250 for a second offense, and $50 to 450 for a third offense.
- Increased Insurance Premiums: A cell phone ticket in New York usually appears on the driver’s home state driving record. The more ticket convictions you receive, the more the possibility that your insurance company will increase your monthly insurance premiums.
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