Useof Cellphones While Driving (Distracted Driving)
Useof Cellphones While Driving (Distracted Driving)
Effortsto heighten road safety continue to increase as the increase ofaccidents continues to increase. Over time, it has been left to thestate government to implement policies with the main focus being onaddressing road dangers within every state boundary despite thedangers being a national problem. Cellphones are alarmingly becomingthe most dangerous form of distraction for drivers, as the use ofthese continues to increase due to affordability.
Theinception of technology has resulted into both merits and demerits inthe modern world. In addition, it has contributed to the improvementof services to people’s lives in different aspects such ascommunication. One of the key sectors to have benefited from themassive adoption of the technology is the transport sector.Additionally, the inception and use of cellphones has overtimeincreased with people adopting their new gadgets as part of theircommunication tools (Welton, 2014). In simple cellphones has becomepart of people’s lives, and an important communication tool, hencemoves with them from one point to the other. However, the use ofmobile phones has become a vice among the drivers as statistics haveshown an increased in the number of accidents due to drivers usingphones while operating their vehicles. This paper is a report to thegovernor with the main focus being on the problem of driving whileusing cellphones (cellphone distracted Driving), the extent of theproblem, and some suggested measures to curb the highly increasingrisky trend. This policy option will embark on minimizing orpreventing the number of accidents and deaths which are as a resultof cellphone use while driving. Though the implementation of thepolicy may be faced with challenges just mentioning of dangersrelated to the use of cellphones while on the wheel may not proveenough to solving this roadway threat.
Advancesin phone technology can be of great benefits such as saving time aswell as helping people keeps close contact with their family membersand friends. Despite the initial marketing for phones being done ascar phones, their subsequent use in the cars while driving has becomea matter of concern and debate among the affected people, and thepublic at large. Today, phones have become affordable and almostevery person can afford one. Additionally, technology has grown andnot only receiving and making calls can be done, the phones can beused for sending and receiving of messages. Studies have revealedthat using a phone either to call to text increased the risk of anaccident. However, texting poses a greater hazard that a call,however, there is an increased chance for an accident.
Usingof a cellphone while driving has become a major problem not only inthe state and local government, but also to the national governmentwhich has embarked on a campaign to curb the habit. With reference toour State, this problem has escalated to a disturbing level wherethere has been an accident almost in every two days, with the chancesof the driver being on the phone being a very likely incident. Theproblem has been more prone to private drivers compared to the publicmeans of transport (Kilcarr, 2015). This has been grouped asdistracted driving, which has been known to divert the attention ofthe driver away from his/her primary task (driving). All distractionspose a danger to the driver, passenger as well as the passerby’ssafety. The key distraction of cellphone use includes texting,receiving and making phone calls, using the phones to read maps,directions among other uses of phones/smartphones.
Withinthe state, 849 people lost their lives through motor vehicle crasheswhich involved cellphone and/or smartphone distracted drivers in2014. This is an increase from the 2013 recording which stood at 698crashes from cellphone distracted cases (Dayan et al, 2010).Cellphone-relatedfatalities and accidents continue to increase in this state. This isdespite legislative action by the state government and warning to thepublic against the practice. This has in turn increased a demand toregulate the use of a cellphone while behind the wheel, in order toembark on reducing the number of fatalities, but which isn’t beingmet(Kilcarr, 2015).
Inorder to curb the menace posed by distractive driving (use ofcellphone), different solutions can be deployed to arrest theunnecessary deaths caused by the use of a cellphone while driving.One of the measures is to Useof High Definition Cameraswithin the state roads, towns, and highways to snap any driver usinga cellphone while driving. This would be followed by imposing finesto the culprit, or any other form of punishment (Kilcarr, 2015). Thecontinued use of technology being on wide expansion, the adoption ofhigh-resolution cameras would be positive measure to help inrecording details of drivers who are caught using their cellphoneswhile driving. In addition, this approach can be as well be usedtogether with police officers. Once a violation is recorded orobserved, the vehicle description should be relayed or provided tothe officers positioned along the roads who intercept the vehicle andthe driver charged for violation of traffic rules.
Theuse of high technology has its strengths and weaknesses. One positiveaspect is that the cameras can be more effective compared to the useof stationed traffic officers alone. In addition, the use of cameraswould be useful any time of the day, week, month and year, as well asduring all weather conditions. Moreover, the use of cameras wouldinstill discipline among road users, whether it’s the driver of thepedestrians. Compared to the use of traffic officers, the drivers canavoid using the cellphones when within the manned area, but withhigh-resolution cameras, the work is made easier and effective (Kwon,Yoon & Jang, 2014).
However,one major weakness related to this approach in curbing the use ofcellphones while driving is the high capital investment. Theinstallation process of the system, cameras, and the control unit isa financial burdening (Johnson & Montgomery, 2010). The financialinvestment for this project is demanding. In addition, it alsorequires coordination between the control unit and the policeofficers on the ground, as a failure for a positive relation betweenthe two departments would mean a futile approach to curbingdistractive driving. This solution would mean a major expense for thestate and the governor’s administration.
Anothermeasure or approach/solution to the use of a cellphone while drivingis the Use of Public Notification/Campaign against the practice, aswell as educating the public on the traffic laws. Massive campaignthrough the media, banners, and public functions would help bring theissue to people’s attention in a wider scope. Through the radio,adverts and public notifications, the state can deploy wide rangecampaign against the use of cellphones while driving. Additionally,the campaign can also be used to educate the general public on thedangers of using one`s phone while accessing roads i.e. crossingroads.
Onemajor breakthrough achieved from using this approach is the widespread of information to the people. With increased circulation ofinformation among the larger public, as well as understanding thedangers behind the use of a cellphone while driving, the largercommunity can embark of stay safe approach whereby they adopt themore precautious use of cellphones while on the wheel. This policywould in turn help in changing the people’s behavior with referenceto the use of their cellphones and driving behaviors. In addition, itwould embark on the case of both the federal government’s andstates’ capabilities in curbing the immense growing point ofbother.
Challengesto this approach to curb distractive driving are that it may fail tochange the driver’s dangerous behaviors due to ignorance of thepublic notifications (Johnson & Montgomery, 2010). The mainsuccess of this approach is dependent on people`s will to changetheir cellphone using habits and adopt self-control while eitherdriving or using roads on foot.
Thirdly,the state government should embark on the legal approach towards thisgrowing problem. By implementing regulatory laws as well as laws bystate, the state government would enable implement the ban on the useof cellphones while driving, hence imposing hefty fines on the lawoffenders. With the lack of tight laws governing the use ofcellphones while on the road, there has been a loophole for culpritsto escape free or with little impactions fines. Implementation ofstricter traffic laws would help keep drivers and road users on toeswhen it comes to using their cellphones (Kwon, Yoon & Jang,2014). The adoption of tighter laws would enable the state to have adefined system on how to punish cellphone users while driving.However, with the change of laws, there is a conflict with the restof states which may choose not to impose the same laws. Lack ofuniform traffic laws from one state to another may pose a threat tothe fight against the traffic offense.
Theuse of cellphones has equally been a positive development as well asa negative development. With reference to people safety on roads, theuse of cellphones while driving has been known to a major source ofdistractions and in turn resulting in fatalities. However, the stategovernment has the ability to embark on solutions to use ofcellphones while driving. Despite the change being people oriented,or the change in people’s behavior, the state government and thegovernors’ efforts can be effective in helping to curb the menacebehind the use of cellphones while behind the wheel. From the reportprovided, different measures can be implemented such as imposing ofhefty fines and change of traffic rules to deal with law violators ofthe traffic rules. Additionally, the use of high-resolution cameraswould another key investment to curb accidents resulting fromcellphone distracted accidents. However, the main achievement infighting this practice is the will by the entire public to observeself-control while using their cellphones either while driving orusing the road on foot.
Dayan,H., Kapur, A. K., Ling, P., Purssell, R., Henneberry, R. J.,Champagne, C. R., & … Francescutti, L. H. (2010). CAEP positionstatement on cellphone use while driving. CJEM:Canadian Journal Of Emergency Medicine, 12(4),365-370.
Johnson,G., & Montgomery, L. (2010, September 23). 9 states ban cellphoneuse while driving. Is yours on the list?. ChristianScience Monitor. p. N.PAG.
Kilcarr,S. (2015). Deploying technology to deal with distracteddriving. FleetOwner Exclusive Insight, 14.
Kwon,O. H., Yoon, Y., & Jang, K. (2014). Evaluating the effectivenessof the law banning handheld cellphone use while driving.SafetyScience, 7050-57.
Welton,G. (2014). Cellphone use while driving: Should legislatorsdecide?. GrandRapids Business Journal, 32(35),8.