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Cell Phone Use While Driving


Submitted By dkingsly
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Cell Phone Use While Driving In today’s technologically advanced world it is hard to find anyone without a cell phone in their purse or pocket. Cell phones are being used more frequently during normal activities, such as at the dinner table, in the movie theater, and in the car. The use of a cell phone in a moving vehicle raises the risk of collision 3 to 6.5 times greater than that of an undistracted driver (Seo &Torabi, 2004). The increase of 16-24 year olds using cell phones combined with their lack of driving experience creates a deadly cocktail of inevitable consequences. These consequences are closely related to those of a person driving well above the legal blood-alcohol-limit (Seo &Torabi, 2004).
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) seems to feel that cell phone use isn’t that dangerous. The NHTSA states “only 18 percent of the 5,474 people killed and 5 percent of the 448,000 injured in crashes were because of cell phone use” ( Eight-teen percent, that’s 985 people dead each year, if the number of drivers using cell phones stays the same. That’s 985 times The United States takes a step backwards to getting closer to finding a cure for cancer, because each one of those 985 people has the potential to do just that. Oh, don’t forget the five percent of the 448,000 or 22,400 people that were only injured. Injured, what exactly does that entail?
Injuries sustained from motor vehicle accidents include, but are not limited to; quadriplegics, amputees, traumatic brain injury, and comas. When a person is injured in an accident, they are not the only one affected by the incident. The families of the victims are forever changed because of the sacrifices they will have to make in the coming future in order to provide necessary care for their loved one. So, when the NHTSA says only five percent of the 448,000 were injured, think about the 22,400 families that have to endure the consequences of someone or their loved one using a cell phone while driving. However unlikely it may be to accurately identify the number of cell phone related accidents, Professor David Strayer at the University of Utah, estimates only two percent of people driving can safely multitask (Cruz & Oloffson 2009)
The inherent danger of using a cell phone while driving is clearly stated in findings from a Virginia Tech Transportation Institute study; “text messaging is 23 times as dangerous, reaching for an electronic device is 6.7 times as dangerous, and dialing a cell phone is 5.9 times as dangerous as undistracted driving” (Hofmann, 2009). With this kind of research out there, how is it that drivers are still allowed to use cell phones while driving? If harsher restrictions cannot be emplaced, then cell phones need to be banned from being used while driving, except during emergency situations. Whether or not cell phone use while driving needs to be dealt with on a legislative level is not the immediate concern, it’s how long this will go on until something is done about the issue. Sure, some states have jumped on board with the cell phone usage ban, with exceptions made for hands-free devices, but all of the states need to join in on this concerted effort to improve safety on the highways.
Where would people be without their cell phone? How about, at the mall, eating dinner, sitting at home doing homework, driving to work. The thing is, people would still be doing the same things without the cell phone as they are now, but safer. Studies have found that it is twenty-three times more dangerous to text while driving, and 6.7 times more dangerous to reach for an electronic device, why on earth would anyone willingly increase their chances of dying by twenty-three times? Remember the “only five percent of 448,000?” That’s right, 22,400 people who were only injured because of cell phone related accidents and the 985 people that died in one year; they weren’t needed. Of the 22,400 people that were injured, think about how many of them are actually able to go on with their lives normally, without financial, emotional, or medical assistance. Consider the types of injuries involved with a motor vehicle accident; traumatic brain injury, quadriplegics, amputees, and coma victims. Now imagine being one of them or having a family member who can’t even feed themselves. I know where I stand, do you?

Seo, D., & Torabi, M. (2004). The Impact of In-Vehicle Cell-Phone Use on Accidents or Near-Accidents Among College Students. Journal of American College Health, 53(3), 101. Retrieved from MasterFILE Premier database.
Cruz, G., & Oloffson, K. (2009). Driving Us to Distraction. Time, 174(7), 45-46. Retrieved from Academic Search Complete database.
Hofmann, M. (2009). Multitasking by drivers raises liability concerns. Business Insurance, 43(29), 4. Retrieved from MasterFILE Premier database.

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