English 111 26 June 2009 A Fatal Addiction One minute you’re talking on the phone with a friend, driving home from the store, the next you wake up in a hospital bed with serious injuries covering your body, wondering what happened. An estimated amount of traffic injuries and deaths combined are 350,600, and 330,000 being injuries. Everyone you know has a cell phone, we all use them constantly, every minute of everyday.
Knowing that it is dangerous to text and drive, we still do it; we text, play games, call, and even just look down to check the time. We are addicted to our cellular phones. Therefore, cell phone usage in cars should be banned and against the law in order to improve driving, and lead to less traffic related injuries and deaths. In California, a new law was passed just recently this year of cell phone usage in cars without use of a headset. With heavy, city traffic, this law is one of the most valuable and important traffic laws passed.
The first cell phone law was passed in New York in 2001, also being a major city. As 250 to 300 million people own cell phones and a near amount owning cars, this is a dreadful situation. The reaction time when driving and using a cellular phone is about 18% slower than normal driving, and increases accident probability. Slower reactions, less concentration, and multi-tasking can easily take your life or another’s life, just by using your cell phone while driving, it is not worth it at all.
When you are driving in your car, looking to your left and right at the cars next to you, most likely you will see someone texting or on the phone, and maybe guilty yourself. Age is a giant factor, most teenagers and younger people are more likely to use their cell phones and get in wrecks, but adults make many of the same mistakes. “With younger adults, everything got worse, both young adults and older adults tended to show deficits in performance. They made more errors in detecting important changes and they took longer to react to the changes” (Kramer).
The two aspects that make cell phone usage and driving dangerous are first, taking your eyes off the road to answer a call, read a text, or text someone back, and secondly getting distracted by a phone call or text message, and concentration to the extent of severe impairment. Using a cell phone while driving is the primary cause of driving distractions, this is why so many deaths and injuries are caused. “Anytime we try to perform two things as once, one performance suffers” (ABC News).
This is true, think about it, when you try and do simple things like chewing gum and talking at the same time, or patting your head and rubbing your belly, they are difficult and one performance is better than the other. Just as these examples, cell phone usage and driving is a much larger problem, and needs to be abolished. Abolition would save over two thousand lives, and help our country with less accidents and injuries as well. Banning cell phone usage altogether, is the best way to improve our driving and give a boost to rehabilitation for the cell phone addiction in America.