Dangers of Cell Phone Usage while Driving
Nowadays we cannot imagine our lives without cellular phones. They became a very important things and a part of everyday life for many Americans, and a lot of people rely on them to perform their daily activities. Cell phones have become so popular that the machines that at first were used only for making calls give a possibility now to email, send text messages, surf the internet, and perform a lot of different tasks. It is regrettable that many of these daily activities take place while a person is driving. As a result of that there are a lot of accidents during the last years occurred because of the use of cellular phones while driving. To my mind, if people cannot focus on the road talking on a cell phone at the same time, they shouldn’t talk at all while being on the road.
The use of cell phone while driving is extremely disputable and a highly emotional topic for discussion in the whole world. Every year millions of people in all countries die in car accidents which happed because of the use of cell phones while driving (Eby and Kostyniuk, 2003). Even though, that all people are aware of the dangers of cell phone use being on the road, they fall on deaf ears to the government appeals of giving up talking on cell phone while being on the road. It seems very often that people evaluate the texts and the calls on cell phones more than their own lives and other innocent lives of possible victims. Despite the fact that prohibiting the use of cell phones while driving might have worked for some countries, most of the people seem to be too ignorant to follow the ban.
There is no doubt the cell phones may distract much attention but at the same time they may provide a direct interdependence between the use of cell phone and the probability of an automobile accident. Some tasks on the phones need more attention of a person than others. For example, writing a text message takes more time and attention than talking to people on the phone. Nevertheless, the use of cell phone mostly is still a dangerous operation for many people being on the road.
There are many different bans on phone usage while driving all over the country. In some places people are prohibited to write text messages or emails while driving but are allowed to talk on phone. In other places the use of a cell phone is prohibited in full. According to the statistics one can see the rational point behind these laws. For instance, drivers who try to write a text message or emails while driving can make a car accident in eight times more than those people who are driving without such distractions of attention.
Some part of the dangers of talking on a cell phone while driving can be reduced due to the use of hands-free devices by the drivers such as Bluetooth headsets, but eventually, talking on the phone while driving still distracts a person from the road or, to say the least, separates the driver's attention between the two operations (Stutts et al, 2001). When people who are talking on cell phone cause automobile accidents, it turns out in most cases that they are responsible for the accident. As such, sufferers of these accidents may have the right to apply for financial compensation for their hurts and injuries.
It is generally known that driving needs a lot of concentration, judgment and accuracy. Worsening of any of these components can put people in grave danger. When they use cell phones, the concentration is moved from road to the cell phone a lot. While dialling a number or receiving a call, people have to look into the machine rather than on the road, even though for some seconds.
There is no doubt that a lot can happen within a single second, therefore a time interval of 3 to 4 seconds strongly increases the chances of a failure. It can happen that a person may not notice a car making a lane change in front him and due to that make a hit from behind. The driver may not even notice a vehicle speeding towards the car from the opposite end and such actions may lead to an accident. Hitting pedestrians is the most serious reprehensible offence that a driver can make while he is talking on cell phone.
Recent researches have shown that using a cell phone while being on the road is even more dangerous than drink while driving. According to the different studies responses are 50% slower than in normal situations when drivers are using cell phones and 30% worse than when being drunken (Strayer & William, 2001). It happens because the use of cell phone makes visual, auditory, physical and mental distractions.
Distractions to this extend many have a number of possible effects. When speaking on cell phone being on the road, a driver can notice road signs not in time or do not notice them at all, he can drive too close to other cars, and find it hard to keep a regular speed so can drive inconstantly.
Hands free kits were designed to oppose the problem of driving and using cell phones. Nevertheless, recent researches determined the hand free phone accessory as dangerous sets. The hands free kit can also distract person’s attention, and though it is not banned in many states, it should not be used often by the drivers. If it is necessary to make a call, it should be short and any emotionally stressful or distracting calls should be finished straightway. Despite the fact that the hands free kit is allowed, it can still be used as indication to pursue if regarded a cause and reason for an accident on the road.
In order to stay safe, the best action a person can make is to observe laws and try not to use cell phone while driving. This also means using it by the driver to even have a look on numbers or check the time. It is proved that a momentary drop in concentration on the road may lead to fatal results. The best solution is that the driver turns his cell phone off and use the voicemail messaging facility because this promotes him to check and use only on safe parking. The driver should always keep in mind that even if he is in slow moving heavy traffic; he should not use cell phone because weather conditions and unforeseen and sudden events can still lead to an accident.
The driver should also leave any received text messages until later, and never try to write a message being on the road. If a person uses his cell phone for work, then he should make use of government provisions. The grown problem of using cell phones while driving has made government initiatives and information services to appear in the whole world. And ultimately, the driver should be equally watchful with others; end up a call if he calls someone who is driving.
Sending text messages while driving considerably contributes to divert driving which includes three important things which can be actually dangerous. The first mater is that texting takes the driver's eyes off the road to the cell phone. Secondly, the driver may approach to leave the steering wheel, thinking that the car would go strait. Third and most essential fact is that texting distracts the driver's mind away from his fundamental task of driving with full concentration on the road (Redelmeier, Tibshirani, 1997). The problem of people sending text messages while being on the road came into the limelight after some main fatal accidents were brought to public notice by the media.
Using a hands free device does not diminish the chances of making an accident of course. It was proved by many various studies and researches. Writing a text message and playing mobile games while being on the road is a vivid example of the craziest behaviour demonstrated by cell phone users. Making emergency calls is can be understood in some special situations, but there cannot be any exculpation for sending text messages and gaming on cell phone while driving.
There are several states in the world that have prohibited the use of cell phones while being on the road. Even in the United States there are some states which totally ban the use of cell phones whilst driving. Some other states may partially prohibit the use of cell phones, i.e. the ban is set only upon certain vehicles such as buses and other public transport automobiles or the prohibition prevails only in some special zones, for example school or downtown areas of residential neighbourhoods and so on.
Regardless of whether the state laws ban the use of cell phones while driving or not, every driver is responsible to ensure the safety of other people on the road together with his own. Prohibition of the use of cell phones does not inevitably guarantee that people will decline from using cell phones while being on the road.
Policemen and other government officials cannot always watch each and every driver wherever he goes. Besides, the legal participations, fine or long jurisdiction procedures cannot revoke the effects of a failure nor can they bring back a life lost in an accident. Some people may debate that a cell phone can save while driving in emergency situations (Copeland, 2010). Well in such a case, a person can always stop the car and make the needful calls. The laws ban people from using a cell phone while being on the road and not from having one. Therefore, a prohibition can only be efficient if every driver acts with responsibility and starts taking care about the lives of others.
The main goal in this situation should be not only in restricting access, but rather in providing in-vehicle information systems and more harmless means to using cellular phone on the road. I think that restricting the use of cell phones while driving is not the best solution to solve this problem. There are many good aspects in using cellular phones in the car. For instance, you can report to 911 about accidents more quickly, traffic updates take place more often due to calls of people and their report back ups, and drivers who should be taken off the road due to some reasons or just plain heedless will be located faster and easier.
- Copeland, Larry. "Driver phone bans' impact doubted". USA Today, January 29, 2010.
- Eby, David; Lidia Kostyniuk. "Driver distraction and crashes: An assessment of crash databases and review of the literature". The University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute, May 2003.
- Jane C. Stutts, et al. The Role of Driver Distraction in Traffic Crashes. AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, May 2001.
- Redelmeier, Donald; Tibshirani, Robers. "Association Between Cellular-Telephone Calls and Motor Vehicle Collisions". The New England Journal of Medicine, February 1300, 1997.
- Strayer D. L. & William J. A. "Driven to distraction: Dual-Task Studies of Simulated Driving and Conversing on a Cellular Telephone.". Psychological Science, 2001.