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Top 7 Myths About Cell Phones and Driving

Top 7 Myths About Cell Phones and Driving

There are many myths associated with driving while talking on a cell phone, texting, taking pictures, or messing around with a map feature.  New legislature has been enacted in an attempt to reduce the number of auto accidents related to cell phone usage, however, most of it is ineffective.  Some new laws banning drivers from texting behind the wheel have even increased the number of accidents related to that practice.  Below are the top seven myths about driving while using a cell phone.

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Top 7 Myths About Cell Phones and Driving

    Myth 1:  Hands-free phones are safe to use while driving

    Various studies have shown that driving with one hand is not the primary contributing factor to cell phone-related auto accidents.  In the dark ages before cell phones were popular, there seemed to be little concern about radio stations or cassette tapes causing auto accidents.  A study conducted by the National Safety Council concluded that carrying on a conversation was far more distracting than dialing or holding a cell phone.  They hypothesized that chatting with other passengers in a car does not pose as much of a danger as the passengers can act as another set of eyes.  Cell phones cannot.

    Myth 2:  Laws banning texting while driving reduce accidents

    After numerous states implemented laws banning texting while driving, the number of auto accidents went up.  Instead of texting with the phone in plain sight, drivers began to text while holding the phone lower to avoid a ticket.  Certain accidents that were avoided by drivers seeing a potential collision out of their peripheral vision were no longer avoided.  These laws are not only well-intentioned but necessary.  Drivers should take the initiative to stop texting while driving.

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    Myth 3:  Most people can multitask

    Only around 2% of the population can actually multitask.  Multitasking can be defined as doing two unrelated things that both require attention simultaneously.  For example, writing a report while fluently carrying on a conversation would be considered multitasking.  Writing a report in front of the television would not.  The television would not require attention, but carrying on a fluent conversation would.  Most people think they can multitask, but very few people actually have the ability to do so.

    Myth 4:  It is OK to read texts while driving but not send them

    Reading and sending text messages while driving is dangerous.  When reading texts, a driver is not only failing to pay attention to his or her surroundings, but he or she isn’t even looking at the road.  Drivers are meant to periodically glance at gauges such as a car’s speedometer.  Reading texts is dangerous due to a driver’s shifted attention to the text as well as the extended period of time it takes to glance from phone to road.

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    Myth 5:  It is OK to read directions or maps on a phone while driving

    Messing around with maps and directions on smartphones is just as bad as texting.  If you’re lost, pull over to find your location and the right directions.  Drivers tend to drive carelessly and erratically when lost if they panic.  Instead of panicking and risking an accident, find a good spot to park and regroup.

    Myth 6:  Taking pictures with phones while driving is acceptable

    This is simply confusing.  People take pictures with phones while driving.  Also motorists have also been observed brushing their teeth, eating bowls of cereal, and engaging in other bizarre behaviors during morning commutes.  If you must take a picture, pull over.

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    Myth 7:  There is no safe time to talk on a cell phone while driving

    There is one safe time to text, talk, and do whatever else on your cell phone while technically driving.  Your car must be in park.  In the event you are stuck behind a major accident on the interstate for a number of hours, all types of cell phone use is safe as long as the car is in park.  Note that you can still be cited for texting and driving, even if your car is not moving.  Slowly moving cars during rush hour do not count.  To be safe while using your phone, your car must be in park.

    Cell phone usage and driving

    Instead of risking being hurt or harming someone else in an accident, use your cell phone only one way while driving.  Have your car in park.  If injured after an auto accident, seek expert help.  Instead of engaging in legal trouble and hospital visits, simply park your car before fumbling with your phone.

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    Last Updated on July 10, 2020

    How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

    How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

    We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

    We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

    So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

    Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

    What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

    Boundaries are limits

    —they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

    Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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    Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

    Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

    Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

    How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

    Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

    1. Self-Awareness Comes First

    Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

    You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

    To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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    You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

    • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
    • When do you feel disrespected?
    • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
    • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
    • When do you want to be alone?
    • How much space do you need?

    You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

    2. Clear Communication Is Essential

    Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

    Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

    3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

    Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

    That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

    Sample language:

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    • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
    • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
    • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
    • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
    • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
    • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
    • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

    Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

    4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

    Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

    Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

    Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

    We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

    It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

    It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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    Final Thoughts

    Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

    Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

    Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

    The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

    Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

    Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

    They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

    Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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