Should Cell Phone Use Be Banned In Cars?
Cell phone use in cars is very common in the U.S. This is mostly due to the fact that technology is readily at our fingertips. Also, since lots of people commute to their jobs each day, they use their phones on the go to check their email or perform other tasks. Many people use either a hand-held cell phone, Bluetooth headset, or some sort of in-car, voice activated technology, such as SYNC, which is offered in several Ford cars. A recent study done by the AAA Foundation for traffic safety found that sixty-one percent of drivers surveyed said that they had occasionally used a cell phone while driving in the month before they were interviewed, and one in six of those people admitted to doing it regularly.1 Of those who did it regularly, sixty percent used a hand-held phone while thirty-four percent used a hands free phone.1 The main problem with talking on a cell phone in a car is the distraction. The distraction of talking to someone causes people to react slower to changes in their environment. Even the simple task of dialing a number can cause you to lose control of your car. The National Safety Council did a study and found that people who talk on their cell phone while driving have a four times greater risk of crashing than people who drive without using a cell phone. They also found that cell phone use contributes to six percent of crashes, which averages to 636,000 crashes, 330,000 injuries, 12,000 serious injuries and 2,600 deaths each year and an annual financial toll of forty-three billion dollars. 2
While hand-held cell phones are dangerous, voice activated and hands-free calling devices such as SYNC technology offered in many Ford cars are not any safer. In fact, two-thirds of American’s who use a cell phone while driving believe it is safer to talk on a hands-free cell phone than on a hand-held device. Part of the problem is that when people direct their...