Speaking On Your Cell Phone While Driving Should Be Made Illegal – Persuasive Essay
Introduction: I would like to begin by telling you a story of what happened to me the other day on the way home. As I was driving and singing along to 50 cent, a car came careening across his lane and into mine. If it
wasn’t for my cat like reflexes I would have been smashed up against the center divider. Now, acting in road rage, I sped up and caught up to the man, rolled down my window and began to yell at him with some pretty influential words. As I was doing so I realized that the man wasn’t even aware of what he had done or me yelling at him. Do you know why he didn’t even realize of what he had almost done? Well it was because he was on his cell phone. I know that we have all had incidents where we got mad at someone for doing something stupid on the road and tried to get ahead of them only to pass them and see that the reason that they’re going so slow is because they were on their cell phones. This type of incident is described as it was just said, as an INCIDENT. This distraction though has been leading to a growing number of accidents and fatalities. That day that I had my incident, I got lucky ladies and gentlemen but that’s what it took for me to look at the less fortunate people that have fallen as victims to this foolish type of negligent driving. I believe that we should illegalize the use of cellular phone while driving because too many people have been putting other peoples lives at risk just to find out the latest gossip on who was on Oprah earlier in the day.
According to the Cellular Telecommunications & Internet Association, in June of 2005 they reported that over 190 million people used cell phones, as compared to 4.3 million people in 1990. With that kind of increase in cell phone usage it has made our daily lives both convenient and dangerous. With more people using cell phones today, who’s to tell how many of them are speaking on it while they drive at any given time? Well that question was answered by the NHTSA. They concluded the number of drivers using their cells phones while driving at any particular moment during the daytime increased from 6% in 2002 to 8% in 2004. That’s 1.2 million people more and that jump was most noticeable in women. It went up to 6% from 4% in 2002 alone. Men on the other hand stayed steady at 4%.
With so many people using their cells phones driving the increase of risk goes up too and for 2 main reasons. First, the driver must take his or her eyes off the road to dial a number and second, people can become so engaged in their conversations that their concentration level on the road goes down. A lot of us don’t feel it when it happens because a lot of our daily routes are so common to us that we just use our subconscious level of thought to get us where we’re going. But it’s at that point that we put the safety of other motorists and pedestrians at risk
Safety experts also noted that the threat of cell phone conversations has not yet been eliminated. In fact, they believe that it may have been getting even worse in the recent years. Now a lot of you have already probably thought that by using hands free sets that the problem is solved and therefore I hold no valid claim but as studies show, hands free sets are what those experts were talking about when they said that the risks have actually began to rise. In a study published in 2003 issue of the Journal of Experimental Psychology, they found that the distraction risk is just as high and even higher for people who use the hands free sets. In their studies they found that people using the hands free sets had to redial their calls 40 percent of the time as opposed to the hand helds which had to redial 18 percent of the time. This led me to believe that hands free sets may be designed for safety on the road but it may provide drivers with a FALSE sense of safety and security.
The reason for cell phones being such a target as the biggest distraction is because unlike talking to someone next to you, speaking on your cell phone demands much greater continuous attention and concentration which takes the drivers eyes off of the road at times and his mind from driving. In cases where drivers don’t pay attention to the road the University of Utah found an interesting statistic. They found out that drivers that talked on their hands free sets were 18 % slower in braking and took 17% more time to regain the speed that they lost when they braked. Some other studies that they performed concluded that drivers that talked on their cell phones were less likely to remember seeing pedestrians, billboards or other roadside features.
So far, the first state to impose this law of forbidding cell phones while driving was New York. About another 2 dozen other states have also begun enforcing that law. California is not yet amongst them and should crack down on this issue. Around the world, countries such as Japan, the UK and France have begun to prosecute drivers that get in accidents due to a distraction on their cell phones as negligence, which is similar to driving while intoxicated.
Although this may seem like an impartial plan to enforce, it’s something necessary to do. By doing so we force the car companies to produce vehicles with newer and safer technology. One pretty new feature on cars is a voice command which allows the driver to keep both hands on the wheel and his eyes on the road. That will probably take another few good years until it becomes equip in all cars but its an advancement and we need to keep pushing the car companies to try harder to convince us.
Conclusion: cell phones play an important part in our everyday lives. However, the convenience that they offer must be judged against the hazards that they pose. All though a lot of us are oblivious to this, our cars are weapons. And for those of you who disagree with me then you should know that when you combine driving and speaking on a cell phone, even the cutest little Hyundai sonata becomes a killing machine on wheels.
I would like to leave you with one little thing. It takes a little bit of your brain to carry on a conversation on your cell phone but it takes even less than that to realize the threat of cells phones to our lives when it’s used at the same time of driving. So the next time you drive and that phone rings just remember those statistics and think twice before you decide to answer it.
“Bills would ban using cell phones while driving.” CNN. 23 May 2001. 07 november 2005. http://archives.cnn.com/2001/ALLPOLITICS/05/22/cellphone.bills/
“Cell Phones and Driving” Insurance Information Institue. August 2005. 07 november 2005. http://www.iii.org/media/hottopics/insurance/cellphones/
“Road Traffic Accident” Wikidpedia. 8 November 2005. 06 November 2005. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Car_accident
Frankenfield, Gay. “Using cell phones while driving increases crash risk” WebMDHealth. 18 May 2000. 06November2005.http://www.webmd.com/content/article/24/1728_57668?src=Inktomi&condition=Home%20&%20Top%20Stories
Infotrak. I lost the page I worked and and could not find the info