Cell Phones and Driving

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s) : 218
  • Published : December 3, 2012
Open Document
Text Preview
Over the past years there has been a hike in new technologies developed, and these devices have made their way into vehicles. Cell phones were first introduced in the U.S. in the mid 1980’s, and have since experienced dramatic growth. Cell phone use while driving should be the concern of motorists and policymakers and have lead policymakers to consider whether the use of cell phone while driving should be regulated or even prohibited. These new technologies often have people regularly engaged in multitasking activities behind the wheel. Unfortunately, these distractions come at a cost of diverting attention away from the primary task of driving. It can be speculated that people who use their cell phones while driving is likely to engage in risky behaviors. However, cell phones are useful technology for people on the move, and that include people operating motor vehicles. Majority of cell phone owners report that they use the technology while driving. However, concerns have been raised that the use of cell phone while driving increases the risks of traffic collisions, property damages, injuries and fatalities. It may however be the case of a person’s emotional state while on phone that contributes to driving erratically. Cell phone conversations do interfere with driving in one way or another, and usually in a negative way. Regulations regarding the use of cell phone while driving should be standardized because of the distractions, emotions, and costs. Driver distractions are important risk factors associated with road traffic injuries. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, cell phones are known distractions (www.edmunds.com). There are different types of driver distractions but there is sufficient subjective evidence that cell phone usage most definitely interfere with driving. However, the effects of phone conversations while driving are still not well understood. The duration of a typical phone conversation is often significantly greater than the time required to dial or answer the phone. Whether we choose to admit it or not, talking on the phone while driving may decrease our ability to operate the vehicle effectively. However, with today’s huge technology influx, dialing and answering the phone are not the only risky behavior by drivers. Some of the other activities associated with cell phones now include texting, using the phone as a navigational system, reading or sending emails, along with many more technological goings on. The use of cell phones while driving can cause drivers to take their eyes off the road, their hands of the steering wheel, and their minds off their surroundings. There is growing evidence suggesting that this type of distraction can impair performance in a number of ways such as longer reaction time, inability to maintain lanes, shorter following distances and an overall reduction in the awareness of the whole driving situation. One major distraction nowadays is texting, a low cost form of communication, but the increase use of text messaging while driving has become a road safety concern especially among our young drivers. Young drivers are more likely to be using their cell phones to text while driving, and are more vulnerable to the effects of distractions given their relative inexperience behind the wheel. One in four American teen drivers admitted to texting while driving, and forty percent of twelve to seventeen year olds say they have been in a car where a teen driver used a cell phone in a dangerous way (www.teendriversource.org). Although teenagers might not realize it, any cell phone use whether hand-held or hands-free while driving is dangerous. However, if the interference is primarily due to the manipulation of the phone, then policies such as those recently enacted by New York State (Chapter 69 of the Laws of 2001, section 1225c), discouraging drivers from using hand-held devices but permitting the use of hands-free units,...
tracking img