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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 March 25, 2020

    How to Live Longer? 21 Ways to Live a Long Life

    How to Live Longer? 21 Ways to Live a Long Life

    When it comes to living long, genes aren’t everything. Research has revealed a number of simple lifestyle changes you can make that could help to extend your life, and some of them may surprise you.

    So, how to live longer? Here are 21 ways to help you live a long life

    1. Exercise

    It’s no secret that physical activity is good for you. Exercise helps you maintain a healthy body weight and lowers your blood pressure, both of which contribute to heart health and a reduced risk of heart disease–the top worldwide cause of death.

    2. Drink in Moderation

    I know you’re probably picturing a glass of red wine right now, but recent research suggests that indulging in one to three glasses of any type of alcohol every day may help to increase longevity.[1] Studies have found that heavy drinkers as well as abstainers seem to have a higher risk of early mortality than moderate drinkers.

    3. Reduce Stress in Your Life

    Stress causes your body to release a hormone called cortisol. At high levels, this hormone can increase blood pressure and cause storage of abdominal fat, both of which can lead to an increased risk of heart disease.

    4. Watch Less Television

    A 2008 study found that people who watch six hours of television per day will likely die an average of 4.8 years earlier than those who don’t.[2] It also found that, after the age of 25, every hour of television watched decreases life expectancy by 22 minutes.

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    Television promotes inactivity and disengagement from the world, both of which can shorten your lifespan.

    5. Eat Less Red Meat

    Red meat consumption is linked to an increased risk of heart disease and cancer.[3] Swapping out your steaks for healthy proteins, like fish, may help to increase longevity.

    If you can’t stand the idea of a steak-free life, reducing your consumption to less than two to three servings a week can still incur health benefits.

    6. Don’t Smoke

    This isn’t exactly a revelation. As you probably well know, smoking significantly increases your risk of cancer.

    7. Socialize

    Studies suggest that having social relationships promotes longevity.[4] Although scientists are unsure of the reasons behind this, they speculate that socializing leads to increased self esteem as well as peer pressure to maintain health.

    8. Eat Foods Rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids

    Omega-3 fatty acids decrease the risk of heart disease[5] and perhaps even Alzheimer’s disease.[6] Salmon and walnuts are two of the best sources of Omega-3s.

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    9. Be Optimistic

    Studies suggest that optimists are at a lower risk for heart disease and, generally, live longer than pessimists.[7] Researchers speculate that optimists have a healthier approach to life in general–exercising more, socializing, and actively seeking out medical advice. Thus, their risk of early mortality is lower.

    10. Own a Pet

    Having a furry-friend leads to decreased stress, increased immunity, and a lessened risk of heart disease.[8] Depending on the type of pet, they can also motivate you to be more active.

    11. Drink Coffee

    Studies have found a link between coffee consumption and longer life.[9] Although the reasons for this aren’t entirely clear, coffee’s high levels of antioxidants may play a role. Remember, though, drowning your cup of joe in sugar and whipped cream could counter whatever health benefits it may hold.

    12. Eat Less

    Japan has the longest average lifespan in the world, and the longest lived of the Japanese–the natives of the Ryukyu Islands–stop eating when they’re 80% full. Limiting your calorie intake means lower overall stress on the body.

    13. Meditate

    Meditation leads to stress reduction and lowered blood pressure.[10] Research suggests that it could also increase the activity of an enzyme associated with longevity.[11]

    Taking as little as 15 minutes a day to find your zen can have significant health benefits, and may even extend your life.

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    How to meditate? Here’re 8 Meditation Techniques for Complete Beginners

    14. Maintain a Healthy Weight

    Being overweight puts stress on your cardiovascular system, increasing your risk of heart disease.[12] It may also increase the risk of cancer.[13] Maintaining a healthy weight is important for heart health and living a long and healthy life.

    15. Laugh Often

    Laughter reduces the levels of stress hormones, like cortisol, in your body. High levels of these hormones can weaken your immune system.

    16. Don’t Spend Too Much Time in the Sun

    Too much time in the sun can lead to an increased risk of skin cancer. However, sun exposure is an excellent way to increase levels of vitamin D, so soaking up a few rays–perhaps for around 15 minutes a day–can be healthy. The key is moderation.

    17. Cook Your Own Food

    When you eat at restaurants, you surrender control over your diet. Even salads tend to have a large number of additives, from sugar to saturated fats. Eating at home will enable you to monitor your food intake and ensure a healthy diet.

    Take a look at these 14 Healthy Easy Recipes for People on the Go and start to cook your own food.

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    18. Eat Mushrooms

    Mushrooms are a central ingredient in Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s GOMBS disease fighting diet. They boost the immune system and may even reduce the risk of cancer.[14]

    19. Floss

    Flossing helps to stave off gum disease, which is linked to an increased risk of cancer.[15]

    20. Eat Foods Rich in Antioxidants

    Antioxidants fight against the harmful effects of free-radicals, toxins which can cause cell damage and an increased risk of disease when they accumulate in the body. Berries, green tea and broccoli are three excellent sources of antioxidants.

    Find out more antiosidants-rich foods here: 13 Delicious Antioxidant Foods That Are Great for Your Health

    21. Have Sex

    Getting down and dirty two to three times a week can have significant health benefits. Sex burns calories, decreases stress, improves sleep, and may even protect against heart disease.[16] It’s an easy and effective way to get exercise–so love long and prosper!

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    Featured photo credit: Sweethearts/Patrick via flickr.com

    Reference

    [1] Wiley Online Library: Late‐Life Alcohol Consumption and 20‐Year Mortality
    [2] BMJ Journals: Television viewing time and reduced life expectancy: a life table analysis
    [3] Arch Intern Med.: Red Meat Consumption and Mortality
    [4] PLOS Medicine: Social Relationships and Mortality Risk: A Meta-analytic Review
    [5] JAMA: Fish and Omega-3 Fatty Acid Intake and Risk of Coronary Heart Disease in Women
    [6] NCBI: Effects of Omega‐3 Fatty Acids on Cognitive Function with Aging, Dementia, and Neurological Diseases: Summary
    [7] Mayo Clinic Proc: Prediction of all-cause mortality by the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory Optimism-Pessimism Scale scores: study of a college sample during a 40-year follow-up period.
    [8] Med Hypotheses.: Pet ownership protects against the risks and consequences of coronary heart disease.
    [9] The New England Journal of Medicine: Association of Coffee Drinking with Total and Cause-Specific Mortality
    [10] American Journal of Hypertension: Blood Pressure Response to Transcendental Meditation: A Meta-analysis
    [11] Science Direct: Intensive meditation training, immune cell telomerase activity, and psychological mediators
    [12] JAMA: The Disease Burden Associated With Overweight and Obesity
    [13] JAMA: The Disease Burden Associated With Overweight and Obesity
    [14] African Journal of Biotechnology: Anti-cancer effect of polysaccharides isolated from higher basidiomycetes mushrooms
    [15] Science Direct: Periodontal disease, tooth loss, and cancer risk in male health professionals: a prospective cohort study
    [16] AHA Journals: Sexual Activity and Cardiovascular Disease

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