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Banning Cell Phone Use While Driving

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Banning Cell Phone Use While Driving

The number of people who own a cell phone has increased dramatically over the last 20 years. According to David Houle (2010), in the United States in 1990 there were 1,888,000 units sold and in the year 2010 there were 52,600,000 sold, making it around a million phones per week. It has only continued to grow, and with this increase has come more and more people talking on their phones while driving and car accidents caused by this added distraction. Unfortunately, people do not only talk on their cell phones, they have access to numerous other things on these phones that also are the cause of major distractions while driving. Because of the evidence that cell phones are the cause of numerous accidents, many states and countries have enacted laws restricting cell phone use while driving, or at least use a hands-free cell phone. People need to be made more aware of how real the danger of cell phone use while driving is, not only to themselves but to everyone else around them.

As stated by International Telecommunication Union (2010), the number of mobile phone subscriptions worldwide has reached 4.6 billion and is expected to increase to five billion this year. According to (2010), at any given moment of the day over 800,000 drivers are talking on cell phones while driving. With more than one out of every two Americans owning a cell phone, understandably there are going to be more people talking while driving, and with that, more accidents. This means there needs to be some restrictions on what cell phone functions can be used while driving, or better yet, they simply need to make people just have to pull over if they need to use their phone.

Derrick Jackson says (2009), The University of Utah researchers performed a study in 2006 and found that driving while talking on a cell phone slows down reaction time equivalent to that of driving drunk. They also found no difference between hand-held and hands-free devices, as it was the conversation itself that proved to be the distraction. A University of Utah News study shows (2010) that when teenagers and young adults talk on cell phones while driving, their reaction times are as slow as those of elderly drivers. People become too involved in their conversations and their concentration is taken away from the road, even though they are aware of the road, they are not totally focused on their driving the way they should be, and their is statistical evidence to support this fact.

According to GHSA (2012), The U.S. currently has no states that have a total ban on cell phone use for all drivers, but 30 states do have a ban for use by novice drivers and 35 states, D.C. and Guam ban text messaging for all drivers. This is a good start, but we need to do a lot more. Although some people think that passing these laws infringe on their rights, passing laws prohibiting the use of cell phones while driving would not only protect the driver, but also the innocent people who could possibly be hurt because of the inattention of the driver.

It is clear that the safest course of action is just to not use a cell phone while driving, but since this is not likely to happen, we need to come up with some other options to at least limit the amount of time people are spending on their phones. There are some services out there that are starting to produce technology that disables a phone when a vehicle is in motion. Kristal says that (2010), these services use the phone's GPS sensors to determine if the person is actually driving and will lock the keypad so that they can not text or use any of the other functions on the cell phone. Some of them also block all incoming calls, emails and texts so the person will not be tempted to try to get on their phone. These services may do some good, but people generally find ways to work around them, so the best thing that can be done is for people to just put their cell phones away from them and on silent when driving.

Cell phones come equipped with all kinds of extras that also cause distractions to the driver who uses them while driving. Most cell phones now have mp3 players, so someone can play their own music while they are driving or wherever they are at, so they do not have to listen to the radio. This is a problem because it is harder to change the song on a cell phone than it is to change the station on the radio, and changing the station on the radio has been a proven problem in the past because it takes a person's eyes off the road, even though it is brief, it is long enough to cause an accident. If just reaching over and hitting the scan button on the radio is enough time for a person to get in an accident, just think of how much more likely it would be to happen if a person is looking at their phone to find the song they want to hear.

Many of these phones are also equipped with GPS navigators, so people can have a system guide them to where they need to go instead of having to look at a map. This can be very distracting when using it on a cell phone as it takes their eyes off the road often which creates a real possibility for getting in an accident. Some of the portable GPS navigation systems that they have recently come out with actually have voice commands for input and output, so these alleviate this problem, only if people will use them instead of the ones on their cell phones.

One of the biggest features on cell phones that is the cause for many accidents



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