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Driving And Cell Phones Essay

2535 words - 10 pages

Driving and Cell PhonesTechnology allows communication to happen in a great variety of places and extreme distances, making communication easy and simple. As far as people are concerned, they are constantly on the go. They want to be reachable no matter where they are. Cellular telephones help make this possible. New capabilities, enabled by advances in technology, make cellular phones more and more sophisticated, but also simple, easy to use, and thus popular. Today mobile telephones are as common as stereos or cameras. Kids use them to catch up on the latest gossip. Parents use them to keep track of their kids and each other. Cellular phones are a must for sales people and businessmen. Mobile phones are a desirable, convenient gadget for common folks. They have become people's new best friends, and people take them everywhere they go or drive.The increasing use of cellular phones among automobile drivers has been a serious issue, debated in legislatures all over the country. The reason for the debate is the fact that "the use of cellular telephones in motor vehicles is associated with a quadrupling of the risk of a collision" (Redelmeier 453). However, any attempts to ban using mobile phones while driving are meeting stiff resistance from the cellular communications industry, which contends that using a cellular phone on the road is no more distracting than eating a hamburger, tuning the radio or tending a child. But if one takes the time and pays attention to other drivers in the streets, a person would notice more people using hand-held phones than eating or putting on lipstick. Corporate spokespeople, as well as some drivers, will argue that hands-free devices might eliminate the danger. Critics could not disagree more. Julie Cook, in her article "Fatal Distractions," published in June 2001 issue of Risk & Insurance, argues that although "hands free phones may allow drivers to keep both hands on the wheel... the mind is still distracted from the act of driving, which should be [drivers'] paramount concern when seated behind the wheel of the moving vehicle" (Cook 48). Undoubtedly, distractions caused by the use of cellular phones, hand-held or hands-free, impair road safety to a great extent. As a matter of fact, a 1997 study conducted by Donald Redelmeier, M.D. and Robert Tibshirani, Ph.D., published in the New England Journal of Medicine, determined that if a driver is using a cellular phone the risk of a collision is similar to the hazard associated with driving with a blood alcohol level at the legal limit (Redelmeier 456). Hence, given the above dangers and the precedent set by the illegality of drunk driving, it follows that motorists should be prohibited from talking on cellular phones while driving.It is a common fact that car accidents are a major public problem in the United States, and cellular phones make it only worse. According to Redelmeier and Tibshirani, "motor vehicle collisions are a leading cause of death... and the...

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