Regulations regarding the use of cell phones while driving should be standardized.
Mobile phones have a vital role in our daily lives, but we need to limit the use for the safety of life and property of drivers, passengers, and the other people who use road. It is essential to create a law that covers the standards to create habits for the population because the accident’s rate due to the using of cell phone while driving is increasing every year. Each state has different regulations to use the phone while driving, so when traveling across the state, there may be confusion in the law. Standardized regulations that discourage use of cell phones while driving are effective in reducing road carnages.
Cellphone uses is growing up every year, cellular service in the USA has grown significantly over the few years from 4.01 billion in 2013 to 4.77 billion in 2017 (Pew Research Center, 2018). The use of cellular phones in the automobile segment is one of the big trends related to technology adoption, which may divert attention from driving. Some states have taken legal action that prohibits the use of mobile phones while driving to limit and prevent accidents. However, with the limitations and lack of information currently available to enforce standards for not using cell phones while driving, passing the law is not enough, by itself, it will have a significant impact on the driver’s use of the mobile phone. This may cause accidents to themselves and others. In fact, the use of phones on the car is important as well. The driver uses a mobile phone to report the accident and informs the police and firefighter of any issues that need fixing. However, cell phone usage while driving is an increased risk of car accident that could lead to serious injury or death. Numerous road accident causalities stem from the usage of cell phones while driving (Statista, 2017).
For example, according to The National Safety Council (2015) said 75 percent of Americans admit to using cell phones, and 30 percent is texting while driving and they also report that cell phone use while driving leads to 1.6 million crashes each year. In 2015, more than 3,000 died in distraction-related crashes and about 400,000 people injured in collisions involving a distracted driver (NSC, 2015).
Therefore, comprehensive action must be taken on a national level to curb this reckless, potentially deadly behavior. Driving while using a cell phone incurs a higher risk of crashing, as same as to driving while drunk and should have the proper punishment.
The law is not yet comprehensive and not yet rigorous. Speaking on a cell phone or texting while driving has become commonplace for many drivers. However, many states are cracking down. In response to safety concerns, some states have laws but some not and there are many different regulations. For example, there are 15 states that have Hand-held Cell Phone Use law: D.C., Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands prohibit all drivers from using hand-held cell phones while driving (GHSA, n.d.). So, all are primary enforcement laws, an officer may cite a driver for using a hand-held cell phone without any other traffic offense taking place. Some states have Text Messaging ban such as 47 states, D.C., Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands ban text messaging for all drivers (GHSA, n.d.).
From the above it can be seen that each state has different regulations, the regulations are complex and the rules are not strong enough to make people obey the law. Many people still do not understand the rules, so they are ignoring and still use the phone while driving. Each state should make laws as standard. It should be enforceable throughout the country and has definitive sanctions, it will make people obey the rules.
Many people are addicted to the cellphones whether it’s texting message or using social media. The United States is considered to have high access rates to social networks in the world while the average global rate is 37 percent in 2017, the online use of social networking in North America is about 66 percent but in the United States is 81 percent of the population has social media profiles (Kemp, 2017). This means that there are about 207 million social network users in the country in the year. The figures show that the US has the third-largest user base in the world, behind China and India but in the future, the number of social network users in the USA is expected to increase by 217 million (Statista, 2017).
Someone is using the phone, not in the right place and not in the right time like while driving. Using the phone while driving is a distraction, it can result in consequences such as the cause of the accident itself and may be linked to others as well. According to National Highway Traffic Safety annual injury and fatality report, report injury facts found that the use of cell phones causes 26% of the nation’s car accidents, only 5% of cellphone-related crashes occur (NHTSA, 2017). The reason is that the driver is texting and talking on handheld or hands-free cellphones.
The use of different types of accessories that allow the rider to use the phone without the need to touch the phone, such as the use of Bluetooth to connect the phone to the car stereo. It can reduce the risk of accidents due to physical factors and visual factors. However, using an optional accessory will keep the driver distracted and slow down the response to traffic signs, and have a higher risk of accidents than those who concentrate on driving. There is a risk of serious accidents as accessory users have a higher chance of the accident than normal driving four times, and those who do not use the device have a higher chance of the accident than normal driving five times (CFSGB, 2017). It can see that the use of accessories that help the driver does not have to use the phone while driving can reduce the risk of physical factors, but the risk of accidents from distraction is still high.
Most people want to use the phone, whether it’s texting or social media. If it is used both place and time properly, it will not cause any problems. In response to security concerns, some states and other countries have banned the use of certain types of mobile phones while driving, but many states have not had any restrictions. However, using the phone while driving is not good even using the Bluetooth, using the phone while driving increases the risk of accident than normal 2-4 times because the driver distracted, and slow response brake pedal decision. The controlling of the steering wheel when an emergency is slower than normal 0.5 seconds and affects the visibility of the sign, the traffic signs, even see the label but cannot remember the details (Summala, n.d.). There are also many drivers who ignore the rules, and it is still potentially dangerous for drivers who are distracted and other people. Therefore, government officials must act in a clear direction and do not allow the use of mobile phones and text messaging while on the way. This regulation will not only be a way to build a nation of safe roads, and it will be an essential means to save thousands of lives. Enforcing mobile phone use while driving across the country will reduce the number of families suffering from negligence.
Governments should make every state a law to use the phone while driving to standards, by requiring every state prohibit all drivers from using hand-held cell phones while driving and texting prohibited as a standard. Because of people addict to use the social media, the government should issue support for applications on cell phone that can reduce phone usage while driving, such as SafeDrive. This application can help people reduce their interest in catching the phone, which is enabled by the app during the drive (Jolly, 2016). The message can be sent back to the person who would like to contact you and it can also send an auto message back that you are driving.
There are numerous evidences that suggest that all-driver bans on hand-held phone devices and conversations can have large and long-lasting effects on drivers’ behaviors. In states where these rules have been implemented, there has been a remarkable reduction of drivers who talk on hand-held phones. In areas such as Connecticut, District of Columbia, and New York, the utilization of cellphones has reduced significantly from 24 to 76 percent within the last seven years since implementation (McCartt, Kidd & Teoh, 2014). In all these jurisdictions, the probability that the violators would receive citations is low, and there are no cases of sustained enforcement campaigns (McCartt, Kidd & Teoh, 2014). This is especially true when high-visibility enforcements are introduced, since they increase the rates of compliance with traffic regulations and policies.
After programs of publicized high-intensity enforcement of all-driver cellphones and texting bans are implemented, the rates of observed hand-held phone conversations have reduced in some jurisdictions by as high as 57 percent in Hartford and Connecticut. Therefore, standardizing these laws by making the application of these recommendations across the whole country can help to reduce possible driving accidents by increasing compliance. The states that have implemented these legislations have also recorded that law enforcers are challenged by the prohibitions that apply only to teenage drivers. Usually, secondary enforcement rules that require police to have some other reasons to stop a vehicle before citing the driver for violating the cellphone law, coupled with the challenge of discerning whether a motorist is involved in an illegal act such as texting.
In jurisdictions where ban on use of cellphones while driving has been implemented, numerous studies indicate a dramatic reduction in road carnages and accidents. In states such as California, Louisiana, and Minnesota, the collision claim rates significantly reduced following implementation of these policies (McCartt, Kidd & Teoh, 2014). As the number of drivers utilizing cell phones while driving increases, the interest in associating cell phone use while driving and road safety, continues to increase (McCartt, Kidd & Teoh, 2014). As more technologies, such as cameras, music, text messaging and internet browsing become an important part of mobile devices, they pose an even greater cause of driver distraction (Nikolaev, Robbins & Jacobson, 2010). Towards the beginning of 2009, more than 200 bills that sought to prohibit or restrict the utilization of cellphones while driving are still pending in almost 42 state assemblies, in spite of disagreements on the dangers pose and the efficacy of enforcements (Nikolaev, Robbins & Jacobson, 2010). There is need to develop a standardized law that discourages the use of cell phones while driving. Banning the use of cell phones while driving, minimizes fatal automobile accident rates. In New York, the number of fatal accidents reduced by 46 percent.
In 2001, New York became the first state to regulate cell phone utilization while driving. While New York prohibits handheld cell phone devices, it still allows drivers to engage in cell phone conversations so long as they utilize hands-free devices (Noder, 2009). New York’s law also includes a provision that allows drivers to utilize their cell phones to call relevant authorities during emergencies (Noder, 2009). States that enact the same legislations have the authority used by New York’s law as a model for their legislation and essentially to incorporate the same exceptions during emergencies. The proposed solution helps to ensure that states that faced problems related to slow implementation of policies can still enact the legislations through a standardized approach that includes all the states nationally (Noder, 2009). This is because although some states successfully passed laws that address cell phone utilization while driving, other states still find it difficult to pass these laws that restrict cell phone use.
One of the provisions of this policy is the use of applications that discourage picking of phone calls while driving. This software allows drivers to keep their hands on their wheels and their eyes on the road by converting their messages into audio. The app reads the messages and then informs them to the driver (Jolly, 2016). This enables him to hear all the messages. While traditional blocking is often effective, it is often better to understand what other people want to say to the driver. Sometimes, it could be an important message (Jolly, 2016). This system also automatically identifies the name of the individual seeking to contact the driver a message. In the process, the system lets the message senders a notification that the receiver is driving and cannot attend to the message right away (Jolly, 2016). Currently, this app is also undergoing modifications to have the capability of notifying the parents who seek to know how their children are driving. However, it can also be utilized by anybody for blocking incoming calls, emails, and texts while driving. The most attractive and efficacious feature of the app is that one can never forget to turn it on, since it will utilize the GPS feature of the cell phone to determine if one is driving.
Road crashes are some of the leading causes of deaths for both adults and teenagers in the United States. Deaths and injuries arising from road carnages are partly brought by widespread use of cell phones while driving. In this respect, people who make phone calls or send text messages while driving. Standardizing legislations and policies aimed at discouraging the use of cell phones while driving has various benefits. First, these rules have been effective in reducing road carnages in areas where they have been enforced. Therefore, it would be beneficial to apply them across the country. In addition, these legislations help to reduce the cellphone-using behavior, thus minimizing road accidents.
Cell phones play a major role in our daily activities. One of the most important roles that cell phones play is enabling communication between people. In the current world, information is very important and therefore people have a desire to be kept on the loop on what is happening. Owing to this fact, the use of cell phones has significantly increased over the years. Despite all the advantages associated with the use of cell phones, there also lies a great problem. Some people use their cell phones to call, text and surf the internet while driving. This poses a great risk not only to the person using the mobile phone but also other motorists and pedestrians on the road due to the high possibility of causing an accident. Although use of cell phones while driving is prohibited by regulations in some states, there needs to be standardized regulations across all states. This will ensure uniformity in implementation and enforcement of the regulations.
The first possible disadvantage of having the regulation is because phones are necessary in emergency situations. This is as important factor that could lead to overestimation of net fatalities is the impact a ban would have on reporting potential problems to authorities. Although most of the proposed regulations would exempt cellular phone use in an emergency, a ban on nonemergency use would tend to decrease the instances of people’s carrying phones in their cars. The safety-enhancing effect of ubiquitous cellular phones is a byproduct of having the phones available for other uses. Thus, some of the positive social impacts of cellular phones, like the quicker reporting of accidents, for example, would be reduced.
The second disadvantage is police not be able catch the people who talk or text on the phone. A final key issue that needs to be addressed is how a policy is actually enforced. Our calculations have assumed that policies are perfectly enforced. We know that in many countries these policies are either not enforced or that enforcement is far from perfect. Moreover, some of the policies may be quite costly and difficult to enforce. For example, trying to enforce a total ban in the United States. Drivers who use cellular phones could respond by putting tinted glass in their vehicles, which would make phone use harder to detect.
One of the main problems that are experienced with these regulations is the level of inconsistency. Some regulations may only cover ban on text messaging only while others may cover calling and other uses. These vary from one state to another, some of the states do not have these types of regulations. Here are visuals to see the differences between the states. Firstly, state regulations for texting while driving. The red color means ban texting by all drivers, yellow means no ban, green means ban texting by bus driver, novice drivers, and all drivers in school zone.
Secondly, the visual of ban on Handheld Devices and Texting, Red color means ban both of handheld device and texting, Yellow means ban only texting and green color means no ban (BTS, 2012).
Therefore, this calls for creation of standardized regulation that would apply to all states. By having the standardized regulation, the inconsistencies will be addressed since the regulations would cover every aspect that is involved. The regulations will be drawn from a wide variety of case scenarios bench marked from the best international practices. This will ensure that there are no loop holes in the regulations. (Wellings, 2013)
Also, standardized regulations will be effective given that publicizing the regulations would be much easier compared to publicizing individual regulations by states. This means that the level of awareness by the public will likely be high and thus making the enforcement to be easier. Some people are not aware of the regulations by the different states which make them violate them without knowledge of their existence. By making standard regulations, it will be easier for people to be aware of the regulations. This will help reduce road accidents that are associated with cell phone use while driving.
Again, by having standardized regulations on cell phone use while driving, it will create a sense of seriousness about the issue. When an issue reaches a point of discussion in efforts to be standardized across all states, it tends to attract more attention and therefore it is taken seriously. This will make the enforcement agencies to act accordingly to the standardized regulations regardless of the state. It will ensure that people act accordingly no matter which state they are in. (Brown, 2012)
In conclusion, cell phones use while driving should be regulated in order to reduce the number of accidents that occur. Making regulations at state level would help in reduction of but would not be effective. This is due to the scope on which regulations covers. Also, some states do not have these regulations which even complicate the issue. It is evident from the above information that having a standardized regulation on cell phone use while driving would be very effective in dealing with vices. Therefore, regulations on cell phone use while driving should be standardized.
The National Safety Council (2015). Cell phones are involved in an estimated 27 percent of all car crashes, says National Safety Council. Retrieved from http://www.nsc.org/Connect/NSCNewsReleases/Lists/Posts/Post.aspx?ID=9
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (2017). USDOT Releases 2016 Fatal Traffic Crash Data. Retrieved from https://www.nhtsa.gov/press-releases/usdot-releases-2016- fatal-traffic-crash-data
Governors Highway Safety Association (n.d.). Distracted Driving. Retrieved from https://www.ghsa.org/state-laws/issues/Distracted-Driving
Statista (2017). Social media usage in the United States – Statistics & Facts. Retrieved from https://www.statista.com/topics/3196/social-media-usage-in-the-united-states/
Pew Research Center (2018). Mobile Fact Sheet. Retrieved from http://www.pewinternet.org/fact-sheet/mobile/
McCartt, A. T., Kidd, D. G., & Teoh, E. R. (2014). Driver cellphone and texting bans in the
United States: evidence of effectiveness. Annals of Advances in Automotive Medicine, 58,
Nikolaev, A. G., Robbins, M. J., & Jacobson, S. H. (2010). Evaluating the impact of legislation
prohibiting hand-held cell phone use while driving. Transportation research part A:
policy and practice, 44(3), 182-193.
Noder, S. L. (2009). Talking and texting while driving: A look at regulating cell phone use
behind the wheel. Val. UL Rev., 44, 237.
Heikki Summala (n.d.). Brake Reaction Times and Driver Behavior Analysis. Retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/233039156_Brake_Reaction_Times_and_Drive r_Behavior_Analysis
Brown, A. (2012). Standardizing policies and regulations. journal of international management, 2-7.
Wellings, A. (2013). Formula to standardization of regulations. journal of Management, 1-4.
Bureau of Transportation Statistics (2012). Distracted Driving–Bans on Hand-Held Devices and Texting While Driving. Retrieved from https://www.rita.dot.gov/bts/sites/rita.dot.gov.bts/files/publications/pocket_guide_to_tran sportation/2012/html/figure_01_06.html
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