Should Using a Cell Phone be Illegal While Driving?
Cellular phones are one of the most widely and most popular forms of communication today. Though once considered rare luxuries, cellular telephones have become a commonplace possession over the last decade. Thanks in part to advances in wireless technology and immense public demand, cell phones have been made affordable to almost anyone wishing to pay for the phone and cellular service plans. Cell phones are so easily portable that it only makes sense that cell phones and automobiles will sometimes go together. With Americans using over 95 million cell phones, we notice the source of some of the accidents we see today. Does this mean we should ban the use of them all together or just change the way we go about using them?
An article published in Mercury News in 2003, state officials reported that they were able to discover what distracted drivers in 9,000 crashes, almost 18 percent of the accidents that resulted from driver inattention in 2001. Cell phone use was cited in 891 crashes, or nearly one in 10 incidents (Richards & Corcoran). All were phone-using drivers who had been involved in a collision. The study concluded, “Collision risk is four times greater if y
"Many people who use wireless phones while they drive argue that the benefits of their phones (flexibility and convenience) outweigh any potential risks" (Knowles). As for Arkansas, Arizona, Connecticut, Illinois, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Tennessee and Texas, they have banned the use of cell phones by school bus drivers only. "Only through awareness of the unique risks associated with talking on the phone while driving will drivers adjust their wireless phone use" (Knowles). So why not meet in the middle somewhere and compromise, by doing something such as making it illegal to talk on a cellular phone while driving unless it a hands-free unit Hands-free devices make it so that you have full use of your hands and you would not have to be digging for your phone every time it rings. While the cell phone industry has lobbied against such actions, 22 states and hundreds of cities and towns across the nation have considered legislation limiting the use of cell phones by motorists. The use of cellular phones in motor vehicles is associated with a quadrupling of the risk of a collision during the brief period of a call. By driving defensively, using phones responsibly and encouraging others to do the same, the number of drivers who are putting themselves and others at risk will decrease. Hands-free devices are just as risky as hand-held phones. The results of several online polls and surveys show that many people think talking while driving is no more or less distracting than any other activity, including other things such as a conversation with a passenger. As for Missouri, there are no laws banning the use of cell phones by bus drivers or other drivers (Cellular News). Cell phones are a cause of some of the accidents we see today, but does it means we should ban the use of them all together, or just change the way we go about using themDialing numbers, receiving calls and holding conversations on cell phones while driving eats away at the concentration required of motorists. In another study conducted by Accident Analysis and Prevention Journal in 1998, found that if a driver is in an accident while using a wireless phone, the chances are nine times greater that it will be a fatal accident. C and Brooklyn, Ohio are the only states that have outlawed the use of cellular phones while driving (Cellular News). "A 1999 study conducted by the Transportation Human Factors Journal, stated that the single most risky behavior is the conversation itself" (Lee).