Driving refers to the action of taking control of moving machines. The machines can either be vehicles such as truck, car or bus, or equipment such as cranes. Indeed, maximum concentration is needed during driving on the road hence drivers are urged to concentrate while driving by avoiding distractions such as eating while driving, talking with other passengers, reading maps, tuning or listening to radios, managing children, phoning and texting on cell phones among other distracting actions, as they can lead to a form of an accident.
According to research conducted by the international transportation board, it was found out that activities that make drivers not to concentrate while driving on the road are the major causes of accidents. Some of these activities include talking or texting on a cell phone which can either be hand-held or hands-free. This is because it delays their response time, compromises detection of dangers or reduces the normal safety margin. It is true most drivers do not think twice before taking up their phones to make calls or text or even picking calls from their cell phones while driving. They are more concerned about convenience rather than their safety and that of other road users. This is the reason why the federal government agencies have responded quickly by urging states to draft and enact legislation on cell phone use while driving.
It was because of this carelessness that provoked Deborah Hersman- chairperson of the National Transportation Board to ban use of cell phones by the agency employees while driving. According to her it is a risk since the consequences brought about by use of cell phones while driving are fatal as witnessed in California train crash. Phoning or texting while driving takes the attention of the driver from what is happening on the road and therefore, not able to respond quickly to situations or delay in making the right decisions and increases unstable driving.
Most governments across the world have also called for a ban on the use of cell phones while driving in their countries, in which they cite it increases the chances of a crash by four times. Government agencies in different states within the continent have called upon all the states to enact a law totally banning cell phone use while driving. In addition, the countries have also taken action and formulated legislations banning use of cell phones while driving so as to reduce incidents of road accidents as a result of inattentive driving or driver distraction.
The impacts of cell phone use while driving has been noted in the health care system due to many reported injuries, as some are fatal and others serious. This has resulted to companies banning use of cell phones by their employees while driving company vehicles, and attempt at technical solutions such as a system that can deactivate specific particular cell phone functions while driving. Moreover, strategies such as driver education on dangers of distracted driving, delegating cell use to the passengers, safely parking or pulling over before making or answering calls, use of GDL bans by parents to instill responsible driving practices by teens and setting an epitome for children by being good drivers can also be undertaken.
On the other hand, the ban on use of cell phones while driving as a distraction has been opposed by The Wireless Association citing other causes of distraction while driving such as pushing audio buttons, reaching for moving objects, reading while driving among others. The creation of awareness on legislations will reduce road accidents and drivers should be warned on using cell phones during inappropriate times such as during heavy traffic and bad weather and avoid stressful conversations. It is argued that cell phone use is the most serious distraction than the rest since 90% of all 300 million USA populace have cell phone accounts and in a countrywide insurance public poll found out that 81% of the USA drivers use them while driving.
Driving is a serious activity which requires concentration and should be taken as such by all motorists so as to safeguard their safety and that of other users. Distractions should be avoided at all costs. Cell phone use either for texting, receiving calls or making calls is a major attention grabber from what is happening on the road and therefore not able to respond quickly to situations or delay in making the right decisions and increases unstable driving. This is the reason legislations have been formulated and enacted banning use of cell phones while driving so as to reduce incidents of road accidents as a result of inattentive driving or driver distraction. Other strategies can be used by other stakeholders to restrict use of cell phones while driving such as driver education and delegating cell use to the passenger. There are however, those of the opinion that such legislations are unfair especially those in the cell phone services business.
“Efforts to limit cellphone use while drivin grow”. USA TODAY.
Cell Phone Use While Driving: Fact Sheet. National Safety Council. N.d.
Paul Courson. “New NTSB chief bans staff’s cell phone use while driving”.