The use of cell phones while driving is responsible for a large number of road accidents that often result in death of many. Cell phones have particularly become very important in recent times and almost everyone has a phone. It is due to this fact that the use of cell phone has gone overboard. People have started using cell phones even in the most unconventional situations, for instance when driving. In light of this fact, several laws that ban or restrict the use of cell phones while driving have already been enacted. Restricting the use of cell phones while driving is a solution many of problems occurring on the roads and has a wide range of activities as will be observed below.
First, the main and primary advantage of banning cell phone use is that it will significantly decrease the amount of road carnage and increase the safety on the roads. Statistics show that the use of cell phones while driving not only raises the risk of collisions but it also responsible for the largest percentage of all road accidents that happen on the road (Farmer, Braitman and Lund, 2010). The causes responsible for this shocking statistics are the slower brake response and slower reaction times that are brought about by cell phone use. When one is driving at a high speed, a delayed response even by a few seconds can act as the deciding factor of whether a fatal collision occurs or whether the driver quickly swerves away, for instance from an oncoming vehicle (Farmer, Braitman and Lund, 2010). As mentioned earlier, using cell phones causes both physical and cognitive distractions. If the using cell phones while driving are restricted, these distractions will be eliminated. This will ultimately result to a decrease in road accidents. Drivers will be able to focus primarily on driving and will be observant and keen on all the activities taking place on the roads (Farmer, Braitman and Lund, 2010). Should anything come up, for instance, if a pedestrian mistakenly steps into the road or a vehicle is approaching on the wrong lane, the driver will be aware of these and will act appropriately. He will swerve the vehicle or hoot to warn the passenger or the oncoming vehicle. It is such things that will significantly lead to a decrease in the number of road accidents happening on our roads.
Apart from alleviating the problem of road accidents, the restriction of cell phone while driving will also bring about another major advantage, and this is easing up traffic congestion. Research conducted by a variety of individuals and organizations reveal that people tend to drive in a slower manner when they are engaged in a cell phone conversation (Cohen and Graham, 2003). The conversations can either be with a friend, a spouse, a family member, a work mate amongst others. When a driver receives a call while he is on the road, he feels inclined to answer the call and may therefore decrease the speed of the vehicle significantly to able to focus more on the conversation with the person on the other end of the line. When this happens in extremely busy cities where there are a lot of cars, huge traffic snarl ups happen. However, the restriction of cell phone use while driving will decrease the chances of traffic congestions occurring. Drivers will be able to maintain relatively constant speeds on the roads and traffic will therefore smooth smoothly and swiftly (Cohen and Graham, 2003). There will be instances of drivers slowing down to pick up cell phone calls or to text therefore forcing the drivers behind them to slow down and this resulting in huge traffic snarl ups or congestions. Everyone will be focused on just driving and it will be very easy to move at a constant speed because there are no distractions whatsoever (Nikolaev, Robbins and Jacobson, 2010).
The third advantage of restricting cell phone use while driving is that it leads to increase observance of road signs and signal which apart from reducing the probability of accidents also makes the roads affair playing ground for everyone (Cohen and Graham, 2003). A driver who is busy on his phone calling or texting may not be wary of road signs that direct him to do certain things or even direct him to a certain direction. For instance, at a traffic light stop, the driver may be distracted and may not notice that the light has turned green or red. He may therefore delay and this may create inconveniences for other road users including fellow drivers and pedestrians. In addition, a driver on the phone may lose the sense of direction due to failure to concentrate on the various road signs directing him to his various places. Restricting the use of cell phones while driving will result into a situation where the driver is attentive to all the road signs and therefore acts in accordance with the rules (Nikolaev, Robbins and Jacobson, 2010). This will create convenience for all the other road users.
As observed, the restriction of the cell phone while driving has a myriad of advantages. The use of cell phones is hugely responsible for many of the problems observed in our roads and enacting laws on that restrict its use will bring about various advantages. The main advantage is the reduction in the number of road accidents. The other advantage is a decrease in traffic congestion while the other one is increased observance on road signs, signal and rules resulting into the roads being a fair playing ground for everyone. In light of these advantages, it is very clear that laws governing the use of cell phones while driving should be enacted in regions or areas which have not already done so.
Cohen, J. T., & Graham, J. D. (2003). A Revised Economic Analysis of Restrictions on the Use of Cell Phones While Driving. Risk Analysis, 23(1), 5-17.
Farmer, C. M., Braitman, K. A., & Lund, A. K. (2010). Cell Phone Use While Driving and Attributable Crash Risk. Traffic Injury Prevention, 12(4), 2-14.
Nikolaev, A. G., Robbins, M. J., & Jacobson, S. H. (2010). Evaluating the impact of legislation prohibiting hand-held cell phone use while driving. Transportation Research Part A-policy and Practice, 13(4), 45-56.