Argument Essay on the Use of Cell Phones while Driving
Cell phones were introduced in the United States market in the decade of 1980 and their usage instantly grew during next two decades. The trend of using cell phones has increased throughout the world. One of the primary reasons for the gigantic growth of cell phones is that they facilitate communication offering high levels of flexibility reaching desired person within seconds whether he/she is at office, home, or outside driving a car etc. Cell phones support in making a direct contact with person effectively and without wastage of any time. Other main reason for the explosive growth of cell phones is the safety aspect. Cell phones make it easy to contact during emergency even during driving although using cell phone while driving is mostly dangerous and not advisable, it provides the convenience of tackling emergency situation, listening music through hands-free, and tracking routes etc. In this context the thesis of the paper is presented as follows:
Thesis statement: it is hypothesized that despite an effective way of communication, using cell phones during driving results in distracting attention of driver increasing road safety concerns.
Undesired Situation by Using Cell phones during Driving
Billions of people throughout the world are using cell phones in daily routine life. Cell phones provide communication with greater flexibility. It is, nowadays considered less fashion and more a utility providing several benefits. Cell phones have different features in addition to communication including cameras, video games, music, FM receivers etc. Cell phones not only facilitate business and personal convenience they also provide comfort and safety. However, observations, experience, and studies all have highlighted the dangerous effects of using cell phones during driving, strictly unadvisable, and an illegal matter. The major drawback of using cell phones during driving is that it distracts attention of driver. (Scotti, 2007)
There are number of traditional ways that distracts driver's attention. They include talking to passengers, lighting and smoking a cigarette, eating, drinking etc. It is pertinent to mention that attention of driver distracted through cell phones means driving and communicating at the same time that increases threats to safety. Furthermore, drivers has also to operate both, vehicle and cell phone, simultaneously, that also distract attention leading to dangerous accidents, and in some cases resulting in death of driver and passengers. In other words, cell phones reduce driver's performance. (Gravelle, 2005)
Despite offering huge benefits, cell phones have become a grave concern and a major cause of road accidents. Drivers using cell phones are not able to give their complete attention on roads exposing not only themselves but also other people on the road. Therefore, most of the governments, including Austria, Australia, Switzerland, Greece, Germany, and different Asian as well as African countries, have imposed restriction on using cell phones during driving.
Because of diversion in attention drivers reacts slowly to the traffic signals, missing them at times. Decision making during driving is a critical factor giving drivers fraction of a second to make a swift decision about a given complex scenario. Studies have highlighted those drivers using cell phones react slowly and often make wrong decision causing serious accidents involving other vehicles also. (Gravelle, 2005)
Drivers demonstrates comparatively slower braking responses and also had low awareness of other traffic flowing through the roads ignoring their presence concentrating more on cell phones and less on roads as how other drivers are behaving. Different studies have reported hundreds of deaths during a year because of using cell phones during driving.
Increased Chances of Fatal Accidents
Several researchers have proved that using cell phones during driving makes driver more exposed to fatal accidents. Focus of the driver is not on the road or traffic and it becomes difficult to handle phone and vehicle at one time. Cell phones during driving also reduce the mental capacity of drivers as they fail to concentrate on minor or major activities happening around them. As already discussed, cell phones distract drivers' attention resulting in comparatively slow response to traffic signals and other related traffic events. Studies have shown the fact that breaking reaction time is also slower while talking on a cell phone during driving. The perception, vision, general awareness, and concentration of the driver are impacted while communicating on a cell phone during driving. Especially during bad weather or driving on slippery roads, drivers engage in conversation pay less attention to these areas increasing risks of fatal accidents. (Gravelle, 2005)
The main advantage to avoid using cell phone during driving is ensuring safety of driver, vehicle, and other people driving on the road. By making conversation, writing messages, or just playing with the mobile increases the chances of accidents. It is pertinent to highlight that hands-free phones have also similar negative impacts during driving; both distracts attention, although hands-free cell phones do not require manual handling. (Sturnguist, 2006)
The nature of conversation on cell phones during driving differs and can have distinctive impacts on drivers. The complexity of conversation draws more attention of drivers, while simple or casual conversation is less distracting, however, both may produce same consequences. As such, the more complex a situation is higher are chances of distraction that presents a threat to road safety. (Klein, 2000)
Cell phone users while driving has low level of perceptions. There exists a direct relationship between perception and performance of a driver. Distracted attention results in low perception of the driver reducing performance levels. A major strength of driving skills is a pro-active approach anticipating actions of other drivers and making adjustments accordingly. However, a driver busy in conversation on a cell phone is unable to adopt a pro-active approach and it becomes almost impossible to anticipate other person's attitude as well as behavior. The consciousness of events happening around vehicle has a huge impact on driving. It is necessary for the drivers to monitor outside events and their possible impacts on driving. Using cell phones make it difficult to keep an eye on the outside events. Negligent behavior is highly immoral and unethical as it exposes human lives to a huge threat of accidents that could ultimately lead even to death. (Gravelle, 2005)
Some Benefits of Cell Phones during Driving
Although, there are grave negative impacts of using cell phones during driving it is pertinent, for the sake of arguments, to present benefits also. The most important benefit of cell phones during driving is again the security factor. During emergency situations cell phones can provide help and driver can make emergency calls, even reporting any dangerous scenario such as roadside accidents. Through cell phones a driver can locate the desired route. Furthermore, using FMs on cell phones can provide information about weather and traffic. (Sturnguist, 2006)
The paper has presented arguments on both sides of the issue using or not using cell phones during driving. On the basis of arguments presented in the paper, it can be concluded that despite an effective way of communication, using cell phones during driving distracts attention of driver increasing road safety concerns.
Gravelle, K (2005) The Driving Book: Everything New Drivers Need to Know but Don't Know to Ask, Walker Books for young Readers
Klein, N (2000) Drive Without Fear: The Insecure Driver's Guide to Independence, 1st Books Library
Scotti, A (2007) Professional Driving Techniques: The Essential Guide to Operating a Motor Vehicle with Confidence and Skill, PhotoGraphics Publishing
Sturnguist, D (2006) Mobile Phones and Driving, Nova Science Publishers