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Is Wisconsin’s Proposed Hand-held Phone Ban More Hindrance than Help?

In an effort to combat the distracted driving epidemic, lawmakers in Wisconsin are again planning to propose a bill that would ban the use of hand-held cellphones while driving. And this problem is an epidemic. According to the National Occupant Protection Use Survey (NOPUS), at any given moment across the U.S., 660,000 drivers are using cellphones or electronic devices while driving. So is this law going to help? Our understanding of multitasking suggests that it likely will not.

This bill seeks, like the texting ban already in place in Wisconsin, to prevent drivers from being so distracted while driving that they put themselves and everyone else on the road in danger. The bill would prohibit drivers from physically holding their phone, while allowing the use of hands-free functions in the phone or vehicle. But like the texting ban that leads most offenders to simply hide their behavior, this may be another flawed idea.

As lawmakers and advocates scramble to respond to the unprecedented number of accidents and deaths caused by distracted driving, we repeatedly reveal our fundamental misunderstanding of how human attention works. We think that by keeping our eyes on the road and our hands on the wheel we can avoid distraction. However, as humans we are not very good multitaskers.

It turns out that drivers who use hands-free devices while driving are FOUR times more likely to be involved in a crash. So keep this in mind:

  • When processing conversation, nearly 50 percent of the images you see don’t reach your brain and your reaction time slows. You are literally looking without seeing.
  • Nearly half (48 percent) of drivers admit to answering their cellphones while driving.
  • Distracted driving will be the cause of over nine deaths and 1,153 people injured today in automobile accidents.

Would you feel safe sharing the highway with a driver not 100 percent focused on the road?

The only way to avoid a distracted driving accident is to focus on driving alone when you are behind the wheel. While this bill is well-intentioned, lawmakers and safety advocates must dispel the illusion of multitasking and the myths that make people believe it is safe to use a cellphone while driving.

Texting while driving, another form of distracted driving, leaves you six times more likely to cause an accident than just talking on a phone. Support safe-driving awareness, and get a free DNT TXT N DRV bumper sticker from Hupy and Abraham today.

In the event that you or a loved one is injured due to someone else’s distracted driving, contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at Hupy and Abraham. Call 800-800-5678 or start a live chat with us anytime at