We all know the two main safety rules with our cell phones. Don't text and drive and leave them in the car while we're pumping gas. While there are laws surrounding the first, there are only warning signs at gas stations and plenty of articles regarding the second safety rule.

So what's the deal then, is it really that bad for us to chat on our mobile, read emails, or text? We've even heard that we could cause a fire or explosion at the gas pump if we're on our cell while filling up.

So can this piece of electronics that we're all glued to and is basically a fifth limb, that dangerous when we're filling up our cars?


Gas stations have warning signs, usually a cell phone with a line through it, at gas pumps telling us it's not safe. But no, it's the phone itself that's dangerous rather what can happen while we're using it that's the safety issue.

According to Reader's Digest, using our cell phones to talk or text while standing next to our car while we're pumping is something we should avoid but not because it they could start a fire or explosion. As a matter of fact, there's not one, single documented case of this ever happening.

Image of static electricity generated when touching a car doorknob

However, according to the How Stuff Works website, using our phones can cause static electricity and that's what can cause a spark. Fumes are wafting through the air as we're filling up our cars and chances are droplets of gas are part of the process, too. Our movement can cause static electricity, including getting in and out of our cars while we're waiting for the gas to finish pumping.

Your little visit inside your car might have charged you up enough to ignite those gasoline fumes. In fact, some experts have found charges of up to 60,000 volts on people who'd gotten in and out of their cars while refueling.

Filling up is boring, but it only takes a few moments. Personally sparks and shocks aren't really worth it even if we know explosions are just an urban legend.

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