Investigate a Social Issue
People use cell phones every day while driving a motor vehicle in the United States - Investigate a Social Issue introduction. Cell phones use is becoming the leading distraction to drivers. There are many people who died from an accident because someone was texting while driving. Some states have implemented laws about the use of cell phones while driving, but it is not standardized across the US.
The current regulations regarding the use of cell phones while driving should be changed because cell phone use while driving is becoming the leading cause of automobile accidents, it raises the national insurance rates each year because of the accidents, and it’s the leading causes of adolescent deaths. It was 1983 when Motorola first introduced the world to the 16-ounce DynaTAC, a cell phone referred to as “the brick. ” By 2005, it was estimated that 207. 9 million Americans subscribed to a wireless phone plan. (Brown, 2012, P.
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With the rapid popularity of cell phones, it is no surprise that Americans often have their cell phones with them when they reach for their car keys. In response to a series of fatal accidents in which driver distraction was determined to be a cause, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) recently recommended a nationwide ban on the use of portable electronic devices while driving. The unanimous recommendation is much stricter than any current state law and would apply to all cell phones, including hands-free devices (Neil M.
Issar, BSc, William T. Obremskey, MD, MPH, A. Alex Jahangir, MD, and Manish K. Sethi, MD, 2012, P. 24) Many State official have tried to pass stricter laws within their states but for some reason they don’t get voted on. At present, nine states and Washington, D. C. , prohibit drivers from using handheld cell phones while driving; 30 states and Washington, D. C. , have outlawed cell phone use by novice drivers (usually defined as people 18 and younger).
The nation’s capital and 35 states also have bans on texting while driving, with 12 of the bans being nacted in 2010 alone, but no state imposes an outright ban on hands-free devices for drivers. (Neil M. Issar, BSc, William T. Obremskey, MD, MPH, A. Alex Jahangir, MD, and Manish K. Sethi, MD, 2012, P. 24) With cell phones becoming the leading distraction of drivers, it’s also becoming the leading cause of automobile accidents in the US. Moreover several studies confirm the attention that must be addressed to this increasing problem demonstrating that from 25 to 50% of road accidents are related directly to cell phone distraction.
More than 85% of cellular telephone owners use their phones at least occasionally while driving, and more than 27% use their phones during half or more of their trips. (A. Benedetto A. Calvi F. D’Amico, 2012, P. 30) According to the United States Department of Transportation’s website on distracted driving, over a half-milhon people were injured and almost six thousand people were killed in accidents involving driver distractions in 2008. ‘ Further, the proportion of distracted drivers at the time of fatal crashes has increased from eight percent in 2004 to eleven percent in 2008.
In Utah in 2006, two scientists were killed when Reggie Shaw, a nineteen-year-old college student, crossed the centerline and chpped a Saturn sedan, causing the car to spin across the highway and hit an oncoming pickup truck. Police were unable to determine the initial cause of the crash, but after an investigation, the police concluded Shaw was text messaging immediately before the accident occurred. (Sherzan, 2010, P. 218). Accidents like this are not rare, they occur often in the US. Although fatal automobile accidents are on the rise from cell phone use, insurance companies are raising their rates across the nation.
Every time an accident occurs in the US a police report is filed. Insurance companies have access to those police reports and that’s how they determine their rates. Talking on the cell phone is not as dangerous as texting and driving. People text while driving all the time, but when they text while driving they take their eye off the road at least for a split second. In a split second anything can happen within that split second. A simple text saying “hello” can take your life or someone else’s. There certainly is data to prove texting is dangerous.
In 2006, Liberty Mutual Insurance Group conducted a survey with more than 900 teens from more than 26 high schools nationwide. The results showed that 37 percent of students found texting to be “very” or “extremely” distracting. A later study by the Automobile Association of America revealed that 46 percent of teens admitted to being distracted behind the wheel due to texting. As of now insurance companies are not specifically penalizing you for cell phone use, but the more accidents that happen across the nation people will see their rates increase.
Insurance companies are now waiting to see what laws are going to change regarding the use of cell phones while driving before they come up with their own penalties. Teenagers are the most inexperience drivers on the road in the US and the most abusive with texting and driving. Some states have set laws for teenage drivers who use the cell phone and drive. The questions we ask ourselves now, are these laws being enforced? Young people (ages 15 to 24) represent only 14 percent of the U. S. opulation; however, they account for 30 percent (19 billion) of the total costs of motor vehicle injuries among males and 28 percent (7 billion) ofthe total costs of motor vehicle injuries among females (A A A 2008; CDC 2009). A nation’s youth is one of its most important assets; therefore, preventing or reducing premature deaths from motor vehicle crashes is a national priority. Rates of self-reported texting and emailing while driving are highest among teenage drivers, and rates of cell phone use are highest among young adults (Times 2009).
With all this being said the law enforcer’s needs to step up and do their job. As you can see that cell phones distraction while driving is a major issue in the US. This is why the regulations regarding cell phones use while driving should be standardized. Laws needs to standardized and regulated as soon as possible so we can lower the death toll with automobile accidents, keep insurance rates affordable for the ones who don’t abuse cell phone usage while driving, and to lower teen drivers fatalities.