Cell phones are gadgets of high relevance and importance in the modern world. Informed arguments indicate that cell phones can act as vital life-saving tools in a situation of emergency. Nevertheless, using this gadget while driving is life threatening. Various studies have clearly highlighted the obvious danger of using a cell phone while driving. For example, the phone may easily cause distraction that may result to an accident. Use of phones while driving causes risks to both the driver and others. In essence, the practice increases the risk of accidents, injuries, fatalities and property damage. The issue of using a phone while driving is a concern of both the motorists and policy makers. Various organizations and some communication industries have engaged in educative campaigns that promote the cautious use of phones while driving. The safety concerns attached to this issue has also obliged policymakers to rethink whether the use of cell phone while driving should be controlled or banned. Evidently, some states have already imposed banned against the use of the phone while driving. The essay argues the need of avoiding the use of cell phone while driving because it is evident that the habit is harmful. The habit is also anti-social and associated with various safety concerns to both self and others. Cell phone should not be used while driving because they cause distractions. The need of avoiding this practice is also apparent that people who use a phone while driving present bad driving habits.
In reference to the accessible statistics, it is evident that using a phone while driving is a harmful habit. Reliable studies have affirmed that the phone users present higher levels of impairment than intoxicated drivers. Statistics highlight that people who use phones while driving is have high chances of causing accidents (Winston, McDonald & McGehee, 2014). The apparent relationship between the use of a cell phone while driving and the likelihood of causing an accident is evident that the number of the accidents recorded has increased with the increased usage of phones. Cubranic-Dobrodolac, Cicevic, Dobrodolac, & Nesic study highlights that about 68% of young drivers use a cell phone while driving. This asserts that in the modern generation, substantial group of drivers is using phones while driving, which explain the rapid increase in the number of accidents in the last decades. The study further identifies a very close relationship between the frequency of the phone usage and the incidents of accidents. Taking into account of the apparent evidence of the harmful effect of using a phone while driving, the need of discouraging this habit becomes indisputable. As evident in the reviewed cases, the act of using phone while driving is anti-social and is likely to result to increased accidents.
Using the phone while driving is an anti-social habit the puts live at the risk. A habit with such detrimental consequences as threatening life cannot be justified under any ground. Although some activists argue that denying people a freedom to use their phones while driving translate to violation of one’s freedom, endorsing the practice on such grounds is not logical considering its fatal consequences. Besides being one’s right to decide whether to use or not use a phone while driving, each person also have the right to live and be safe from being harmed by the actions of people who are reckless with their lives. It is disturbing to learn that a reckless driver does not only threaten his/her life but also poses risk to others. In view that the actions of each driver in the road determine the overall safety of the public, there is the need of being concerned of the habit presented by each driver (Silver, 2014). Using a phone while driving affects the driver’s competence as well as increasing his or her response time to a danger. This increases one’s likelihood of causing accidents that may harm others, which affirms the significance of discouraging the habit of using a phone while driving. The government has an obligation of protecting the public, thus affirming the rational of instituting binding regulations to control and restrict individuals who engage in this anti-social and harmful habit (Weimer, 2007). The anti-social habit of using phone while driving causes distraction that may make one lose focus, thus causing an accident.
Various studies have also confirmed that using a phone causes distraction, thus affecting the driver’s ability. Drivers should be banned from using phones while driving because they essentially destruct them, making them vulnerable to cause accidents (Narad, Garner, Brassell, Saxby, Antonini, et al., 2013). Road Safety strategies argue that phones have the potential of affecting the driver’s competence because they engage eyes and hands. Consequently, the driver may easily lose focus, causing accident. In this lieu, some strategists advice the drivers to stay away from the phone while driving or at least use hands-free devices to make it less destructing. Gozzi (2008) identifies phone as a potential destructor by noting that people draw attention to their phone such as through texting such that they become unaware of their physical surroundings. The scholar describes the experience offered by the phone as the “Cell Phone Zone.” Gozzi’s study noted that when people are in this state they are essentially drawn out of the current physical reality. A driver who is in such a state can easily cause accident. The study further links the act of texting with serious safety concerns (Gozzi, 2008). Findings from O'Connor, Whitehill, King, Kernic, Boyle, et al. study also supports these sentiments by showing that most accidents out of the cases reviewed heightened with the anticipation of incoming message or phone call. The study targeted establishing the psychological factors associated with the vehicle crash and phone use. The study explained the apparent relationship between phone use and the likelihood of the occurrence of an accident in terms of anticipation, emotional reaction, activity interference and problem recognition. Silver (2014) research highlighted significant relationship between the reported car crash incidence and the use of phone while driving. It is factual to state that phones are potential destructors, which asserts the need of banning their use while driving. When phones are used while driving, they cause distraction that makes them engage in poor driving habits, which readers them prone to accidents.
Just like individuals in bad influence of alcohol or drugs, drivers who use phone mainly engage in poor driving habits. Such drivers often ignore or break traffic rules since they are never attentive. Zhao, Reimer, Mehler, D'Ambrosio, & Coughlin conducted a study to evaluate the predisposing habits that make drivers who use phone present high rates of accidents. In unearthing this aspect, the researcher sought to examine the driver’s performance by reviewing self-reported driving habits. The study found that individuals who used phone while driving presented high tendencies of over speeding and passing habits. In particular, the people who used their phones while driving were found to mainly drive at high speed, change lanes more often and report high number of incidences of hard braking and high acceleration. These individuals were also often associated with higher rates of self-reported driving violations (Zhao, Reimer, Mehler, D'Ambrosio, & Coughlin, 2013). Furthermore, such drivers showed little concern of getting involved in an accident. In essence, these drivers present uncaring attitude, thus are not necessary warned or careful of their actions. It becomes indisputable that the use of phone has the potential of resulting to increased accidents by making drivers engage in reckless driving. This affirms the need of discouraging the use of phones while driving.
In contrast to the discussed detrimental side effects for allowing individuals to use phone while driving, the practice is characterized with some benefits. For example, a phone can be of great help during emergencies. The phone can be used to call for immediate attention or help during such cases. Furthermore, it is not always obvious that using a phone while driving results to accidents. Some people have high capability of multitasking and present high competence in driving besides using a phone. This means that the issue of using a phone while driving only needs one to be careful and responsible.
The significance of discouraging the use of phones while driving cannot be re-emphasized considering the detrimental effect of the practice. The society can hardly bear any more the suffering and losses caused by reckless driving brought about drivers who use their phones while driving. The need of discouraging the use of a phone while driving is evident in the accessible statistics that have successfully linked the two variables. Using phones while driving presents as an anti-social habit, and attract safety concerns to both self and the public. Furthermore, phones cause distractions and make people engage in bad driving habits, thus causing accidents.
Cubranic-Dobrodolac, M., Cicevic, S., Dobrodolac, M., & Nesic, M. (2013). The risks associated with using a mobile phone by young drivers. Transport (16484142), 28(4), 381-388.
Gozzi, (2008). The Cell Phone Zone. ETC: A Review of General Semantics, 65(4), 382-383.
Narad, M. , Garner, A. , Brassell, A. , Saxby, D. , Antonini, T. , et al. (2013). Impact of distraction on the driving performance of adolescents with and without attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. JAMA Pediatr, 167(10), 933-938.
O'Connor, S., Whitehill, J., King, K., Kernic, M., Boyle, L., et al. (2013). Compulsive cell phone use and history of motor vehicle crash. J Adolesc Health, 53(4), 512-519.
Silver, J. (2014). Distracted driving and crash risk. N Engl J Med, 370(16), 1565.
Weimer, D. (2007). Mobile telephones and motor vehicle operation. Journal of Current Issues in Media & Telecommunications, 1(1/2), 1-19.
Winston, F., McDonald, C., & McGehee, D. (2014). Adolescents with adhd demonstrate driving inconsistency. J Pediatr, 164(3), 674-675.
Zhao, N., Reimer, B., Mehler, B., D'Ambrosio, L., & Coughlin, J. (2013). Self-reported and observed risky driving behaviors among frequent and infrequent cell phone users. Accident Analysis & Prevention, 61, 71-77.
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