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Cellphone Use While Driving Essay

1702 words - 7 pages

The use of cellphones has become more popular with every passing year, causing many people to become physically and emotionally attached to their cellphones. American society today is constantly on the phone, from texting, to calling, to surfing the web, to even taking pictures; people seem to never put their phones down. Since the use of cells phones is skyrocketing, it has brought up an issue that the use of these devices while behind the wheel increases accidents (Hahn and Preiger par. 1). People don’t realize how distracting a cellphone can really be. Distracted driving is defined as, “driving a vehicle while engaging in an activity that has the potential to distract the driver from the task of driving”(dictionary. reference.com). Almost everyone owns a cellphone today, causing distracted driving to become a big issue (Driven to Distraction par. 1). When a driver is distracted from driving they are unaware of the things happening in their driving environment. Using a cellphone while driving causes drivers to become distracted from driving physically, visually, cognitively and from their auditory senses.
A driver is distracted physically and visually when they opt to use their cell phone when driving. “Physical distraction is when drivers have to use one or both of their hands to hold the phone, dial a number, or end a call instead of focusing on the tasks required by driving” (Ahmad Ba-Masq 3). Not using a turn signal, being unable to shift gears, and not having both hands on the steering wheel leads to physical distractions. Driving requires two hands on the wheel, but when a driver chooses to only use one hand they are putting themselves and other drivers into greater danger. When driving with one hand on the wheel drivers tend to have slower reaction times and less control of their vehicle. When drivers becomes physically distracted they are unable to perform many of the tasks that are required to be a safe driver. While a driver might be physically distracted they can also become visually distracted if they choose to use their cellphone while driving. Visual distraction is caused when a driver takes their eyes off of the road and are focused on something else, such as their cellphone. When drivers are focused on looking at their cellphones they may be unable to see a stop light, a stop sign, other cars, or pedestrians. A driver’s eyes can be focused on the road, but there is such a thing where they are not processing the environment around them. According to Strayer's laboratory research, “cell-phone drivers were more likely to miss traffic signals and often failed to see billboards, pedestrians, and other signs,” (par. 5). Driving requires people to be both physically and visually aware of the things happening in their environment, but when using a cellphone while driving their only focus is a phone call or a text message.
Driving with a cellphone can not only affect the driver physically and visually, but it can also affect their...

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