Cell Phones and Driving

Using a cell phone while driving has been found in numerous studies to be a significant visual distraction as well as causing a reduction in the driver’s cognitive abilities. Even using hands-free devices significantly contributes to slower reaction times behind the wheel.  

The use of a cell phone while driving leads to dangerous changes in drivers’ behaviour including:

  • Change in average driving speed
  • Slower brake reaction time
  • Slower response times to traffic light changes
  • Reduced visual monitoring of mirrors and instruments, with some drivers abandoning them entirely

The link between traffic accidents and cell phone use has led to bans on the use of hand-held devices in the Canadian provinces of Ontario, Newfoundland and Labrador, Quebec, and Nova Scotia, and the American states of California, Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, Washington state and Washington D.C. to date.

In October 2009, Ontario enacted a law that bans the use of cell phones by individuals operating a motor vehicle.  Ontario’s doctors are proud to have influenced that legislation, and are confident that lives will be spared by this measure.


Your Health: View our video on Texting and Driving

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