CELLULAR PHONE USE WHILE DRIVING 1
CellularPhone Use while Driving
Distracted driving poses a danger to passengers, drivers, and otherroad users. Distraction occurs when drivers focus on differentactivities other than driving. Cell phone use is one of the biggestcauses of accidents and fatalities induced by distracted driving(Houghton, 2013). Cell phones are used while driving in various ways.For example, some drivers make and receive phone calls while driving.On the other hand, other drivers send or reply to text messages. Inrecent years, the distraction caused by cell phone use hascontributed to the incidence of car accidents (Houghton, 2013). Inthis regard, regulations regarding cell phone use need to be createdor enhanced so as to curb the incidents of driver distraction. Theresearch paper will also examine the impact of enacting comprehensiveregulatory frameworks in different states.
History and Effects of
In the US, cell phone use started during the early 1980s (Kiesbye,2011). In many regions, the number of cellular phone subscriptionshas significantly increased. In fact, the majority of households haveat least one family member that owns or operates a cell phone(Kiesbye, 2011). The types of cell phones used include hand-heldgadgets, voice-activated, and hands-free designs. Statistics showthat over 80% of drivers use cell phones while driving. This ismostly due to the functionality of cell phones that makes themadaptable to different settings. The duration of cell phone use whiledriving also determines the level of distraction experienced by adriver. Studies indicate that using the cell phone while drivingreduces the concentration of a driver by more than 80% (Strayer,Drews, & Crouch, 2004). Therefore, legal measures need to arrestthe occurrence of driver distraction due to cell phone use.
Cell phone use while driving differs among various demographicparameters. For example, elderly people beyond 50 years are lesslikely to use cell phones while driving as compared to typicalteenagers (Kiesbye, 2011). Low-income earners would also manifestlower rates of driver distraction since they own fewer cell phones.Besides, men used their cell phones consistently while driving moreoften as compared to women (Kiesbye, 2011). Nevertheless, thecontinuous integration of technology into all aspects of personal andbusiness life threatens to intensify the use of cell phones whiledriving (Hahn & Prieger, 2004). Consequently, the dangers posedby the use of cell phones while driving can only be alleviatedthrough the enactment of restrictive laws.
The use of mobile phones during driving poses several dangers. Forexample, it heightens the occurrence and severity of vehiclecollisions (Hahn & Prieger, 2004). Motorists and pedestrians riskeither minor, fatal, or even crippling injuries. Massive amounts ofproperty are also destroyed upon the occurrence of accidents. Vehicleowners also incur high costs of repair and restoration. Besides,other costs are concerned with health care and litigation (Hahn &Prieger, 2004). In many cases, insurance companies are faced with thetask of administering hefty repayments to affected clients. Vehiclecollisions during rush hour can cause nasty snarl-ups in trafficjams. In this manner, employees lose crucial work time and hence hurtthe success of businesses (Strayer. Drews, & Crouch, 2004).Therefore, policymakers need to be concerned about the laws that havebeen put in place to curb the accidents caused by cell phone usewhile driving.
The use of cell phones during driving has impeded driverconcentration in several ways. In some instances, drivers becomedistracted while searching for a cell phone. The attention of otherdrivers is also diverted in an attempt to pick up a dropped phone.Some drivers have justified the use of hands-free cell phones whiledriving. However, using a cell phone consumes metal energy. It alsorequires coordination and time that are diverted from driving(Strayer, Drews, & Crouch, 2004). Hence, the task of drivingbecomes more complicated and results in the same level of collisionrisk. Therefore, legislation needs to be formed to cover allinstances through which cell phones can be used.
Granted, several states have adopted particular measures aimed atcurbing the use of cell phones while driving. For example, 14 stateshave expressly banned all types of drivers from using hand-heldgadgets while driving. Traffic officers are also empowered to citedrivers for any offenses in this area. Also, 46 states prohibit alldrivers from reading and sending text messages while driving(Kiesbye, 2011). Notwithstanding, the present laws have loopholesthat pose unique dangers. For example, no state has placed total banson cell phone use by all categories of drivers (Houghton, 2013). Inmany cases, novice and school bus drivers experience restrictions onthe use of cell phones while driving. Mature and experienced driversare wrongly assumed to have better skills at concentrating on theroad while using a cell phone. Nonetheless, many road accidents andvehicle collisions owing to cell phone use are caused by experienceddrivers. Furthermore, some states have adopted preemption laws thatprevent localities from enforcing laws against cell phone use whiledriving (Houghton, 2013). Consequently, it is critical to enact lawsthat prohibit the use of cell phones during driving for all types ofdrivers.
Indeed, policymakers need to formulate legislation that wouldeffectively combat the distractive use of cell phones while driving.Distracted driving owing to cell phone use has led to vehiclecollisions and traffic jams. Drivers and pedestrians have alsosuffered significant material losses. Both hand-held and hands-freedevices pose similar threat to driver distraction and safety.Therefore, laws should be enacted to ensure that all states ban theuse of cell phones while driving for all types of drivers.
Hahn, R. W., & Prieger, J. E. (2004). The impact of drivercell phone use on accidents. St. Paul: Minn.: AEI-Brookings JointCenter for Regulatory Studies.
Houghton, S. C. (2013). Cell phones and distracted driving:Selected research. New York, NY: Nova Science Publishers.
Kiesbye, S. (2011). Cell phones and driving. Farmington Hills,Mich.: Greenhaven Press.
Strayer, D. L., Drews, F. A., & Crouch, D. J. (2004). Acomparison of the cell phone driver and the drunk driver.Washington, D.C.: AEI-Brookings Joint Center for Regulatory Studies.