Cell phones and drunk driving

April 19, 2009  |  General

I’ve written before about how drunk driving impacts the PICU. Now a recent tragedy in Texas reminds us that talking on a cell phone while driving can be just as bad. Five children died as a result. Five children.

It’s been known for some time that using a cell phone while driving impairs your reflexes. A study from the University of Utah used a driving simulator to test reaction times of drivers using a cell phone, both against the ear and in so-called “hands free” mode. The results showed that using a cell phone was the equivalent of being legally drunk. Although text-messaging wasn’t studied, I’m sure that has an even worse effect on driving skills.

I am astonished that many parents who would never drive their children around after drinking alcohol think nothing of chatting on the cell phone constantly while their kids are in the car. It appears that this particular driver was both drunk and using a cell phone, compounding the problem.


  1. Someone just last week told a ‘funny’ story in which she was driving and texting. I was speechless. Which, of course, rendered me useless.

    It’s a terrible tragedy.

  2. If you think you can drive and talk try this. Go home, call a friend and turn on you favorite TV show. Discuss you plans for the weekend, your new boyfriend (girlfriend), your favorite rock band and when you are done write down a recap of the show. If the page is almost blank, don’t worry, you can’t kill someone while sitting on your couch.
    How come it is only the other drivers who wander all over the road, can’t maintain their speed, miss stops signs, but you are great behind the wheel? For the answer go back to step one.

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