Driving and Cell Phone Use in the US

Distracted driving, particularly caused by cell phone use, has been identified as a parlous and growing menace to road safety. The behavior mentioned above is linked to the enormous potential for injuries and deaths; it is among the primary causes of traffic accidents. With the significant increase in mobile phone ownership rates and technological advancements, including the launch of newly-developed in-vehicle communication systems, this issue is likely to escalate worldwide in the coming years. In response to this issue, nearly seventy nations have enacted regulations and laws proscribing cell phone use during driving. However, most countries only ban the receiving or making of hand-held calls. There are no prohibitions on the utilization of hands-free gadgets. Furthermore, drivers globally have not fully accepted these regulations, citing the pros of the aforementioned device’s use during driving. This paper supports the notion that cell phone use while driving is associated with life-threatening risks and should be prohibited.

Various arguments in favor of mobile phone utilization while driving have been presented by different researchers. Proponents posit that these gadgets have built-in GPS technologies that offer directions to different destinations and maps which provide actual-time traffic data. Another cited benefit is that the aforementioned device’s use allows drivers to request immediate roadside help, in instances involving serious vehicle accidents. Cell phones also allow drivers to capture images of license plate numbers in case of a hit and run incident, receive traffic updates, and report crimes promptly; therefore, their use while driving should be authorized.

Irrespective of the pros mentioned above, these devices’ use, particularly when driving, has been linked to several life-threatening consequences. Distracted driving compromises the efficacy of almost all elements of safe driving performance. It causes drivers’ frequent and prolonged glances away from the road, poor vehicle control, slower responses or reactions to hazards, and significant crash incidences. Furthermore, cell phone manipulation when driving causes physical distraction; it interferes with lateral car control, which, in turn, triggers erratic and inconsistent vehicle movement. This behavior also leads to cognitive disruptions, increasing the likelihood of traffic accidents. Studies evaluating the effects of texting and communicating over the phone reveal that each activity impacts one’s mental load. Research also demonstrates a positive correlation between the aforementioned deportment and poor driving performance. It further triggers visual interruptions, as it typically diverts a driver’s attention by causing them to take their eyes off the road recurrently. A significant relationship exists between ocular interference and higher rates of collision.

Distracted driving may lead to criminal penalties because this conduct is outlawed in several countries. For instance, in the U.S, twenty-one, forty-eight, and thirty-nine states have proscribed hand-held phone manipulation while driving, texting for all drivers, and mobile phone utilization by novice drivers, respectively. Any breach of the regulations stipulated in each state attracts significant fines. The above-mentioned deportment may also cause high insurance premiums because indemnity rates are linked to an individual’s driving history. Therefore, if one accumulates multiple points on their driving record or receives several citations, insurance premiums are likely to increase. One also stands to lose their driving privileges through revoked license or suspension.

To sum up, despite the advantages associated with mobile phone manipulation while driving, this behavior may lead to life-threatening risks, in addition to other significant consequences. The aforementioned deportment compromises the efficacy of almost all elements of safe driving performance. It causes visual disruptions, mental interruptions, and physical distractions, which are positively correlated with the increased likelihood of traffic accidents, including crashes. It may also attract criminal penalties, high insurance premiums, and lost driving privileges.

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