Why We Should Ban Cell Phones And Driving
Every day, millions of people get in their vehicles and drive. Some are mothers, some are fathers, some are students, yet all are in danger from preventable accidents caused by cell phones. For proof that cell phone accidents are increasing, people simply need to look at sections of websites devoted entirely to car accidents caused by people using cell phones while driving (Car Accidents). We live in the now generation. We want everything as soon as possible and preferably before we know we want it.
Imagine how many people turn their cell phones on and call people the instant their plane lands, minutes before their plane reaches the gate. feed into our need to have information and always be connected, but that need is only safe as long as common sense is used. When common sense is not in effect, driving while using a cell phone can be dangerous. Problems Cell phone accidents injure 330,000 people a year and kill 2,600 a year (Britt 2005). Most people have seen someone talking on a cell phone and driving erratically.
They are typically not hard to see because they are usually weaving into the next lane or have poor reflexes when confronted with a red or green light. We ban drinking and driving because there are so many deaths and injuries caused by it, so why do we continue to ignore the dangers of calling and driving? The problem has not gone unnoticed. The government has recognized the risk of driving while calling and have enacted legislature to counteract the increasing number of people involved in accidents caused by distracted drivers.
Yet each state has different laws regarding cell phones and driving. Based on the most recent statistics (2008), some states like California talking on the phone (unless it is on the speaker) while driving, and certain groups of people from using the phone. Other states, like Louisiana, do not have any restrictions on using cell phones while driving (Edgar Snyder and Associates). Statistics Cell phones have made our lives more convenient but also more dangerous. Cell phones have 250 million users in the United States, a number that is increasing yearly at a rate of 40%.
Studies have also discovered that cell phone use while driving increases the chance of a car accident. Even the task of dialing numbers can cause a person to potentially lose control of the vehicle. Incidentally, most people who were in car accidents while driving were on the phone. Out of the plethora of accidents where cell phones were involved, the drivers hit large objects that would have been avoidable had the driver been focusing on the road (Edgar Snyder and Associates). People who believe that they have excellent reflexes and can avoid a crash are incorrect.
It was found that a 20-year-old driver talking on a cell phone has the reflexes of a 70-year-old driver not talking on a cell phone (Britt 2005). People who use hands-free cell phones also contribute to the heightened danger on the road. The mitigating factor in accidents involving cell phones is distraction. The problem is that the drivers can see the road, but they are not involved in what is happening on the road. As strange as it seems, a study found that it is categorically safer to have a person driving with a blood alcohol level greater than .
08 on the road driving than to have a person talking on a cell phone driving (Britt 2005). How to Help Now that we know the extent of the problem, what can we do to prevent those unnecessary accidents from claiming more lives, maybe even the life of someone we love? With inconsistent legislation among the states regarding cell phone use and driving, there is a chance that you have driven in a state with very relaxed or nonexistent laws about driving with cell phones. There are several ways people can protect themselves when driving with a cell phone.
A spokeswoman for the California Highway Patrol, Anne Da Vigo suggests pulling off of the road for extended phone calls, to tell the person you are talking to on the phone that you are driving, ask any passengers accompanying you to do the talking, keep the call short and only use the phone when you need to. (Goepel 2003). Legislature Even though those steps are beneficial when using a cell phone while driving, it is not enough to keep the safe cell phone drivers away from the dangerous ones. We need to petition our government to ban any form of cellular phone use while driving.
The government will not know how concerned we are about the dangers of driving while calling unless we bring more attention to the situation. Twenty-two of the 50 states have no legislature banning driving while on a cell phone. That means that people in 44% of the states in the United States are at in increased danger of being in an accident caused by a driver talking on a cell phone (Edgar Snyder and Associates). The first steps for legislation come from the citizens, businesses, lobbyists, elected officials, etc. (Nevada Legislature).
If we decide to ignore the initial steps to have a bill passed because we are confident someone else will do the work, we are wrong. We need to be a collective voice that lets our government know that we are tired of having innocent citizens hurt by distracted drivers. It is time for us to have our government to listen to what we have to say. We need to be proactive so we do not lose more people from our communities to senseless accidents. References Britt, R. R. (2005). Drivers on Cell Phones Kill Thousands, Snarl Traffic. LiveScience. Retrieved July 18, 2009 from LiveScience database. Car Accidents.
Cell Phone Accidents Pictures & Stories. Retrieved July 18, 2009, from http://www. car-accidents. com/cell_phone_car_accidents. html . Edgar Snyder and Associates. Car Accident Cell Phone Statistics. Retrieved July 18, 2009, from http://www. edgarsnyder. com/auto-accident/auto/cell/statistics. html . Goepel, J. (2003). Crashes caused by inattentive drivers are nothing new. Cell phones are the latest distraction. Via AAA Traveler’s Companion. Retrieved July 18, 2009 from VIA Magazine database. Nevada Legislature. How a Bill is Passed. Retrieved July 18, 2009, from http://www. leg. state. nv. us/General/im_just_a_bill. cfm .