Assignment 2: Investigate a Social Issue

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Deonte’ Peterson
Cell phone use while driving should be standardized
Assignment 3: Persuasive Paper Part 1: A Problem Exists
Professor Thompson
English 215
February 6, 2013

People use cell phones every day while driving a motor vehicle in the United States. Cell phones use is becoming the leading distraction to drivers. There are many people who died from an accident because someone was texting while driving. Some states have implemented laws about the use of cell phones while driving, but it is not standardized across the US. The current regulations regarding the use of cell phones while driving should be changed because cell phone use while driving is becoming the leading cause of automobile accidents, it raises the national insurance rates each year because of the accidents, and it’s the leading causes of adolescent deaths.

It was 1983 when Motorola first introduced the world to the 16-ounce DynaTAC, a cell phone referred to as "the brick." By 2005, it was estimated that 207.9 million Americans subscribed to a wireless phone plan. (Brown, 2012, P.) With the rapid popularity of cell phones, it is no surprise that Americans often have their cell phones with them when they reach for their car keys. In response to a series of fatal accidents in which driver distraction was determined to be a cause, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) recently recommended a nationwide ban on the use of portable electronic devices while driving. The unanimous recommendation is much stricter than any current state law and would apply to all cell phones, including hands-free devices (Neil M. Issar, BSc, William T. Obremskey, MD, MPH, A. Alex Jahangir, MD, and Manish K. Sethi, MD, 2012, P.24) Many State official have tried to pass stricter laws within their states but for some reason they don’t get voted on. At present, nine states and Washington, D.C., prohibit drivers from using handheld cell phones while driving; 30 states and Washington, D.C., have outlawed cell phone use by novice drivers (usually defined as people 18 and younger). The nation’s capital and 35 states also have bans on texting while driving, with 12 of the bans being enacted in 2010 alone, but no state imposes an outright ban on hands-free devices for drivers. (Neil M. Issar, BSc, William T. Obremskey, MD, MPH, A. Alex Jahangir, MD, and Manish K. Sethi, MD, 2012, P.24)

With cell phones becoming the leading distraction of drivers, it’s also becoming the leading cause of automobile accidents in the US. Moreover several studies confirm the attention that must be addressed to this increasing problem demonstrating that from 25 to 50% of road accidents are related directly to cell phone distraction. More than 85% of cellular telephone owners use their phones at least occasionally while driving, and more than 27% use their phones during half or more of their trips. (A. Benedetto A. Calvi F. D’Amico, 2012, P.30) According to the United States Department of Transportation's website on distracted driving, over a half-milhon people were injured and almost six thousand people were killed in accidents involving driver distractions in 2008.' Further, the proportion of distracted drivers at the time of fatal crashes has increased from eight percent in 2004 to eleven percent in 2008. In Utah in 2006, two scientists were killed when Reggie Shaw, a nineteen-year-old college student, crossed the centerline and chpped a Saturn sedan, causing the car to spin across the highway and hit an oncoming pickup truck. Police were unable to determine the initial cause of the crash, but after an investigation, the police concluded Shaw was text messaging immediately before the accident occurred.(Sherzan, 2010, P.218). Accidents like this are not rare, they occur often in the US.

Although fatal automobile accidents are on the rise from cell phone use, insurance companies are raising their rates across the nation. Every time an accident occurs in the US a police report...
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