Majority of accidents that happen in the world occurs due to distraction of the driver by either external or internal distracters. Use of cell phones, while driving, seems to be among the most debatable issue of driver distraction. Several researchers conclude that cell phones form the majority of the distracters, reported by drivers or accident witnesses. However, critics believe that driver distraction through cell phone forms a small, negligible percentage as compared to the real distracters. They believe that the mystery behind distraction of drivers lies behind other factors that go without discussion. This paper lies down the tangible evidences that support and criticise the ban on use of cell phones, while driving. Upon the analysis of the evidences presented, it is beyond any doubt that use of cell phones, while driving, ought to face a total ban. This practice of ignorance has been the leading cause of distraction and accidents on motorists (Bradley, 2004).
Use of cell phones, while driving, involves texting and making calls, when the vehicle is in motion. Texting include writing short messages, reading messages and sending messages. The messages involve the short message services, emails and articles on the internet. Voice calls involve making calls, picking calls, and listening to voicemail texts and calls. All these activities distract the driver, thus, making him prone to make accidental mistakes that are preventable on observation of full attention (Wyllie, 2007).
Modes, at which distraction can occur while driving and using mobile phones, include distraction, while writing a text message. Writing a text message involves looking at the cell phone and pressing numerous buttons to create a message. This procedure happens, while the driver looks on and off the road in an attempt to manage two things at once. Such a driver is prone to make errors as he fails to give his full concentration on the road. Critics of the ban argue that a person who has owned the same cell phone for a long period is capable of writing the text on the cell phone without looking at the buttons. The argument is applicable to a minority of people and leaves out the majority who cannot write a text massage on their phone without looking at the key pads. Whichever the case, the mind of a driver who texts, while driving, loses concentration from the road even if the driver does the act without looking at the cell phone. This still increases the rates, at which accidents occur (Bradley, 2004).
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Reading text messages also causes distraction. Although writing may be done without looking at the phone, reading of the text messages must involve visual activity. This, therefore, ensures that the driver stops paying attention to the road and concentrates on the cell phone to understand the message. Such a driver is prone to bump into other cars, tress or hit pedestrians, crossing the road.
Surfing on the internet also forms another dangerous aspect of using cell phones, while driving. Use of the internet is complex and must involve attention to operate and manipulate the buttons to open the desired sites. This, therefore, ensures that the driver looses focus on the road and pays no attention to the road. Beside the attention, required to operate the internet, it has humorous, captivating, and intriguing information that might be hard to ignore. This contributes further to taking of the drivers’ attention, thus, increasing the rate of accidents on the road (Dorn, 2010).
Calls are equally dangerous to make, while driving. The first aspect of distraction, while calling, is visual distraction. This occurs, when the driver glances at the cell phone to identify the identity of the caller. The process might take one to two seconds, but it is enough to cause fatal accidents. Upon the identification of the caller, the driver has to concentrate on the conversation and listen to information from the other side of the line. This happens within busy and noisy streets, thus, needing the full attention of the driver. The driver immediately looses focus on the road and causes accidents as he concentrates on what the second party is saying on the line.
Some calls that drivers pick, while driving, are official and need much attention and respect. When receiving such a call, the driver will tend to adjust his posture, speech and actions, thus, loosing focus on the road. All these distractions make a driver miss a road signs, make a wrong decision or delay in making the right decision. Any delay or making a wrong decision leads to accidents on the vehicle, whose driver is using the cell phone, or on other motorists, affected by the driver’s movements (Wyllie, 2007).
Critics argue that the percentage of accidents, caused by cell phone distraction, is negligible. Such critics believe that other forms of distraction need attention, in order to reduce this problem. An example of such distraction is reading newspapers and novels, while driving. Drivers have habits of reading newspapers, while driving, which needs more attention than reading a text message on a cell phone. Such activities need a ban before considering cell phones. Other distracters include smoking, conversation with other passengers, eating and operating other gadgets such as radio and screens (Dorn, 2010).
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External sources of destruction have been argued to be the main cause of accidents in streets. Such distracters include advertisement billboards, and marketing statements that catch the attention of drivers’ minds, thus, causing accidents. A common scene is the use of beautiful women on adverts that hung close to highways and streets. Such pictures do not evade the attention of a driver, thus, leading to accidents. The distracters that critics argue in favour of mobile phones are inevitable, and need measures to reduce their effects. Such measures include a ban on roadside billboards and eye-catching adverts, a ban on reading newspapers and novels, while driving. However, the move does not give cell phone users permission to use their cell phones, while driving.
Measures that need enforcement to stop using mobile phones, while driving, include setting up of strict rules and fines to those who break the law. Business that deals with cell phones such as manufactures and network providers ought to carry out mass education and campaigns that prohibit drivers from using their services, while driving. Communities have to induce a culture that bars drivers from using cell phones, while driving. Such measures include informing the driver in unison or reporting the driver to the authorities. Other members of the society who ought to educate drivers on the issue include religious, social and professional figures in the society (Redelmeier & Tibshirani, 2000).
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In conclusion, use of cell phones, while driving, ought to face a total ban in every state. The driver who texts, calls or reads articles on the internet, while driving, is prone to delay his decision making, thus, causing accidents. The driver is also prone to making unintended decisions that make him or other motorist be involved in accidents. Other form of distraction that critics have to support the use of cell phones should face elimination. Accidents might be fatal to those involved, even if it appears small. Distracters that cause a small percentage of accidents ought not to have a pardon.
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