Distarctions of Cell Phone Use While Operating Motor Vehicles Essay
Shannon Hudak Distractions of Cell Phone Use While Operating a Motor Vehicle Using cell phones while driving are not only dangerous but deadly. We have many distractions while driving, let alone the use of cell phones as well. In this day and age cell phones are used for a variety of things such as text-messaging, internet usage, watching television, e-mailing, faxes, games, and much more. Driving is a privilege, not a right. Many Americans take the technology we have today for granted. Once issued a drivers license it can be revoked for not obeying the laws and this is not the case with cell phone usage while operating motor vehicles.
The thing we need to remember is that we all need to be responsible drivers to ensure not only our safety but the safety of other drivers as well. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) nearly 6,000 people were killed in 2008 and more than 500,000 people were injured due to distractions while driving, which was in a published report in September 2009. Virginia Tech Transportation Institute reported in October 2009 that texting was the most dangerous of all cell phone activities. In September 2009 all government employees were banned texting while driving by an executive order that President Obama signed.
In October 2009 there was a new bill introduced that offered financial incentives to states that ban cell phone use for both texting and talking. People who are texting would have doubled fines compared to those who are talking. Although this bill is still being debated on I think it will be something that we the people should encourage for these restrictions to apply. As of November 2010 there are currently twelve states that have no ban at all against cell phone use while operating motor vehicles and Ohio is one of them. There are eight states that have partial cell phone usage bans.
Thirty states have a ban of no texting for all drivers. The United States has specifications on how these bans are enforced whether it is primary or secondary laws depending upon each state itself. Some of these laws are based more for the younger adult and teen drivers. This is a very hard issue to produce in legislation due to the fact that there is not anyway for an officer to catch you actually texting while driving. There is obviously no way to know exactly how many fatalities and injuries have occurred while driving with the use of cell hones, but we all know that it is stupid and we should not do it. Many surveys have been conducted for citizens to participate in on driving while using cell phones. In a recent study conducted by Nationwide Insurance Company the majority of the people that participated were all for any type of cell phone use while driving restrictions. Eighty percent of these people support a ban on text messaging while driving, as well as e-mailing while driving. A ban for phone calls while driving had sixty-seven percent of respondents who were supportive of this act.
Nearly three out of four of these respondents think these restrictions should be made for all drivers and not specific groups, such as younger adults, and teens. Texting while driving is one of the major concerns of cell phone usage while operating a motor vehicle. Anything can happen on the road in the blink of an eye and the most important thing while driving is to keep your eyes on the road, and drive responsibly. We need the slightest amount of distractions as possible. There are so many more distractions while driving let alone texting or cell phone use.
In this day and age everyone is in such a hurry and multi-tasking is one of our biggest flaws when doing something as serious as operating a motor vehicle. We need to take a stand on this because so many lives are at stake when driving. Could you imagine getting a phone call that your child, mother, father, sister, brother, aunt, uncle, grandparent, niece, nephew, cousin, or any other family member, or friend had been hit by a driver while they were texting? Most of us would say “Oh that will never happen to me” but, when it does, it makes you sit back and think.
Anything can happen at any given moment in this life. What would you do if it was you driving and hit your own family member, or friend? It would be devastating. Most of us don’t think of situations that could occur and turn into a tragedy such as this. I have to give a lot of credit to The University of Utah and there research studies in effort to stop this widespread issue of cell phone use while operating a motor vehicle. The University of Utah has conducted many studies to raise the awareness on this epidemic. They have also developed a method to keep drivers from being distracted by cell phones.
This method is called Key2SafeDriving. It installs without any tools in seconds. It is something you would have to put money into, but it is well worth it to keep your child or any other relative safe, as well as the other people on the road. It is $99. 95 for each device including software for one cell phone. For each additional cell phone there is a $29. 95 fee for software. They do offer a thirty-day money back guarantee. This device will alert incoming text messages with an automatic response that you are driving. Any incoming calls while driving would be directed to your voicemail automatically.
Although you can use hands-free handsets while driving such as Bluetooth’s. Emergency calls such as 911 are still always accessible while driving in safe mode. Your profiles are protected by passwords. This device does not use GPS. This is an inexpensive way to make sure you yourself, children, and family members are not tempted to use the cell phone while operating a motor vehicle. You have to remember that children often repeat the same things they see you do “monkey see, monkey do”. This would be an effective way to teach them not to text while driving. Another contributor to this debate is Oprah Winfrey.
Ms. Winfrey kicked off the “No Phone Zone Day” on 30th day of April, in 2010. She is asking viewers to pledge not to use cell phones while driving. She is working with transportation safety organizations to declare this a national day to those who have lost their lives due to distracted drivers on cell phones. Ms. Winfrey stated, “We need to make our own movement to stop cell phoning and text messaging while driving. ” “Don’t tempt fate; that text can wait. ” She is trying to raise awareness of how serious the issue is of using your mobile devices while operating motor vehicles is as well.
It’s not something we can overlook and she is taking all efforts to stop the deadly driving habits most Americans have formed. There were rallies held in Atlanta, Boston, Detroit, Los Angeles, and Washington D. C. on the 30th of April of this year. More than 160,000 people have pledged not to use their cell phones while driving. You should be the next! In conclusion we know what is right from wrong. If you see a friend using a cell phone while driving tell them it is very unsafe and they are being an irresponsible driver. If your friends use cell phones while operating motor vehicles that does not mean it is okay for you to do too!
Two wrongs don’t make a right. Do not allow yourself to get into a vehicle with another person unless they give you their cell phone or they have the Key2Safe Driving installed. If you are old enough to drive you should know not to be using mobile devices while driving period. Our lives are precious and the last things we need are injuries or even deaths for something that can be prevented! This is an option of yours to make when you sit down in the driver seat of your car. One last thing I want to remind you of is taking the pledge created by Oprah Winfrey “No Phone Zone. Many people are doing it including many famous people. You should be the next to pledge not to drive while using your cell phone. Remember driving is a privilege and not a right!
Works Cited [ (Studios) ] Company, Nationwide Mutual Insurance. Driving While Distracted: Statistics to Know. 2010. 28 November 2010 <http://www. nationwide. com/newsroom/dwd-facts-figures. jsp>. David Strayer, Frank Drews, and Lee Siegel. News Center, University of Utah. 29 June 2006. 28 November 2010 <http://www. unews. utah. edu/p/? r=062206-1>. Gale. Gale Opposing Viewpoints in Context, Texting While Driving. 010. 28 November 2010 <http://ic. galegroup. com/ic/ovic/ReferenceDetailsPage/ReferenceDetailsWindow? displayGroupName=K12-Reference&action=e&windowstate=normal&catId=GALE%7C00000000LVZE&documentId=GALE%7CPC3021900170&mode=view>. Studios, Harpo. Oprah Winfrey and Harpo Studios Announce National “No Phone Zone” Day Friday, April 30. 6 April 2010. 29 November 2010 <http://www. oprah. com/pressroom/Oprah-Winfreys-National-No-Phone-Zone-Day_1>. Utah, The University of. Key2SafeDriving. 2010. 29 November 2010 <http://www. key2safedriving. com/>.