Cell Phone

Topics: Mobile phone, Cellular network, GSM services Pages: 7 (1832 words) Published: November 4, 2010
MLA Research Paper (Levi)

Cell Phones in the Hands of Drivers: A Risk or a Benefit?

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Paul Levi

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English 101 Professor Baldwin 2 April XXXX

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Marginal annotations indicate MLA-style formatting and effective writing. Source: Diana Hacker (Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2006). This paper has been updated to follow the style guidelines in the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, 7th ed. (2009).

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Source: Diana Hacker (Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2006).

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Levi ii

Source: Diana Hacker (Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2006).

Levi 1 Cell Phones in the Hands of Drivers: A Risk or a Benefit? As of 2000, there were about ninety million cell phone users in the United States, with 85% of them using their phones while on the road (Sundeen 1). Because of evidence that cell phones impair drivers by distracting them, some states have considered laws restricting their use in moving vehicles. Proponents of legislation correctly point out that using phones while driving can be dangerous. The extent of the danger, however, is a matter of debate, and the benefits may outweigh the risks. Unless the risks of cell phones are shown to outweigh the benefits, we should not restrict their use in moving vehicles; instead, we should educate the public about the dangers of driving while phoning and prosecute irresponsible phone users under laws on negligent and reckless driving. Assessing the risks We have all heard horror stories about distracted drivers chatting on their cell phones. For example, in a letter to the editor, Anthony Ambrose describes being passed by another driver “who was holding a Styrofoam cup and a cigarette in one hand, and a cellular telephone in the other, and who had what appeared to be a newspaper balanced on the steering wheel—all at approximately 70 miles per hour” (128). Another driver, Peter Cohen, says that after he was rear-ended, the guilty party emerged from his vehicle still talking on the phone (127). Admittedly, some drivers do use their cell phones irresponsibly.

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Source: Diana Hacker (Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2006).

Levi 2 The dangers are real, but how extensive are they? To date there have been few scientific reports on the relation between cell phone use and traffic accidents. In 1997, Donald Redelmeier and Robert Tibshirani studied 699 drivers who owned mobile phones and had been in accidents. The drivers, who volunteered for the study, gave the researchers detailed billing records of their phone calls. With these data, the researchers found that “the risk of a collision when using a cellular telephone was four times higher than the risk when a cellular telephone was not being used” (433). Long quotation is introduced by a sentence naming the authors. Long quotation is indented; no quotation marks are needed. Ellipsis dots show that words have been omitted.

Although this conclusion sounds dramatic, Redelmeier and Tibshirani caution against reading too much into it: Our study indicates an association but not necessarily a causal relation between the use of...

Cited: Ambrose, Anthony. Letter. New England Journal of Medicine 337.2 (1997): 128. Print. Cain, Alasdair, and Mark Burris. “Investigation of the Use of Mobile Phones while Driving.” Center for Urban Transportation Research. Coll. of Engineering, U of South Florida, Apr. 1999. Web. 12 Mar. 2001. Cohen, Peter J. Letter. New England Journal of Medicine 337.2 (1997): 127. Print. Harvard Center for Risk Analysis. “Cellular Phones and Driving: Weighing the Risks and Benefits.” Risk in Perspective. President and Fellows of Harvard Coll., July 2000. Web. 15 Mar. 2001. Jacobs, Annette. “Guest Opinion: No New Laws Needed for Driver Distractions.” Wireless Week. Advantage Business Media, 24 May 1999. Web. 12 Mar. 2001. Kilgannon, Corey. “Road Warriors with Laptops.” New York Times 15 Aug. 2000: A23. Print. Redelmeier, Donald A., and Robert J. Tibshirani. “Association between Cellular-Telephone Calls and Motor Vehicle Collisions.” New England Journal of Medicine 336.7 (1997): 453-58. Print. Sundeen, Matt. “Cell Phones and Highway Safety: 2000 State Legislative Update.” National Conference of State Legislatures. Natl. Conf. of State Legislatures, Dec. 2000. Web. 11 Mar. 2001.
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Source: Diana Hacker (Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2006).
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Levi 7 United States of Transportation. Natl. Highway Traffic Safety Administration. “An Investigation of the Safety Implications of Wireless Communications in Vehicles.” Natl. Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Nov. 1999. Web. 12 Mar. 2001.
Source: Diana Hacker (Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2006).
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