Although cell phones have not been around for a very long time, they have become a key part of our lives. People use their cell phones for just about everything such as: texting, talking, schedule planning, internet surfing, etc. Sometimes we can even do two or more of these things at the same time. Unfortunately, people are also choosing the wrong time to be using their cell phones: while they are driving. As a society, we have become so focused on how much we can do at one time that we are willing to risk our personal safety as well as the safety of others because we can’t put down our cell phones.
Using a handheld cell phone while driving is dangerous to the driver themselves for a couple of good reasons. One such reason is that maneuvering your vehicle while using a cell phone is made even more difficult because one hand is busy fiddling with the phone instead of resting on the wheel. From personal experience, it is harder than most people think to drive or perform driving maneuvers with one hand. Parallel parking is very difficult for most people, even with both hands; doing it one handed would be made impossible because parallel parking requires incredibly subtle movements with the steering wheel. On the main roads, vehicles will often pass you and either slow down or speed up while in front of you which indicates some sort of distraction that hampers their ability to maintain a constant speed. Another reason is that by allowing their focus to waiver during handheld cell phone use, drivers forfeit their ability to react quickly to difficult and/or dangerous situations. Such a situation might be missing an important turn or exit which may require a lot of backtracking depending on whether the driver is in the city or on the highway respectively. The most dangerous scenario is of the driver who fails to take notice of a road hazard because they were using their cell phone. When driving, sometimes it is difficult to focus on the road which makes it easy to forget that the roads are shared by everyone and not for your exclusive use.
Other drivers on the road take notice of drivers on their cell phones whether they want to or not because of the hazards they create. Erratic driving is something that we all get quite worked up about, especially if it makes us late or is otherwise a direct inconvenience to us. Scott Clark, veteran web business strategist and the owner of the consultancy BuzzMaven Labs, says “[He] came within inches of a bad accident because of a young driver being on the phone and crossing three lanes of traffic at 45 mph.” Drivers are also tailgating you because of, again, the inability to maintain a constant speed because they are on the phone. Clark warns of “[…] the rusty red Camaro [tailgating] the minivan full of kids.”
Drivers who use cell phones while driving are also highly dangerous to pedestrians. A young woman killed a pedestrian on a bicycle while she was texting on her phone. She may not...