Tennessee law currently prohibits people from texting on their hand held cellphones while driving. However, drivers in the state may soon be unable to even talk on their handheld devices while operating a vehicle. A bill that was recently approved by the house panel would make talking on a handheld device while driving illegal. If the bill passes, Tennessee will be added to the already 14 states in the U.S. that have outlawed drivers from using handheld devices, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association.
One representative who opposes the bill argues that talking on a handheld cellphone is not the only driver distraction that acts as a danger to other motorists, according to the Times Free Press. Eating, dealing with kids, turning the radio station and putting on makeup are other potential distractions that could lead to a horrible motor vehicle accident as well. Not to mention that engaging in a conversation, whether it is on a handheld cellphone or a hands free device, may be just as distracting.
Although studies show that talking on a hands free cellphone is risky for drivers, drivers would be able to continue using a hands free device or a hand held cellphone that is mounted to the dashboard of the car if the bill is approved. The National Safety Council has reported the dangers of distracted driving, and how cognitive distraction from maintaining a conversation on a cellphone can increase the likelihood of an accident. Drivers are encouraged to refrain from using any type of cellular device while behind the wheel.