Today I will be discussing the topic of cell phone and driving and the effect it has on teen driving. The use of cell phones while driving has recently escalated, making it one of the most hazardous distractions for all drivers, especially teens (“Study: Teens on,” 2005). Many lives are losing each and every day because people lack following safety regulation. Cell phones are one of these reasons it is a big distraction when it comes to driving.
Distractions, such as talking or texting on a cell phone, can cause drivers to take their eyes off the road for a few seconds, long enough to have difficulty responding to hazards and staying in their lane. These seemingly innocuous acts also can affect their mental focus. Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University found that cell phone use behind the wheel actually reduces the amount of brain activity associated with driving by 37 percent (“A dangerous distraction,” 2013).
A report from the University of Utah (search) says when motorists between 18 and 25 talk on cell phones, they drive like elderly people — moving and reacting more slowly and increasing their risk of accidents (“Study: Teens on,” 2005). It doesn’t matter whether the phone is hand-held or hands-free. Any activity requiring a driver to “actively be part of a conversation” likely will impair driving abilities (“Study: Teens on,” 2005). A 1997 Canadian study published in The New England Journal of Medicine used phone records to evaluate cell phone use patterns.
Crash risk was found to be four times greater when drivers were using a cell phone, whether hand-held or hands-free. A more recent study using simulators published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology reported similar findings (“A dangerous distraction,” 2013). Everyday governments try their best to solve the problem of cellphone uses and driving. Eleven states have laws banning the use of hand-held cellphones for all drivers while driving they are California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maryland, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Utah, Washington
State; and the District of Columbia (“Teen drivers,” 2013). The first law banning hand-held cell phones was passed in New York State in 2001 (“A dangerous distraction,” 2013). The use of all cellphones by novice drivers is restricted in 37 states and the District of Columbia, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Washington State was the first state to ban the practice of “texting” with a cellphone while driving. Text messaging is banned for all drivers in 41states and the District of Columbia.
Novice drivers are specifically banned from texting in six states (“Teen drivers,” 2013). A survey was released by State Farm in April 2012 it was found that many teens continue to engage in texting behind the wheel even though they are aware of the dangers. In the survey, conducted for State Farm by Harris Interactive, only 43 percent of drivers 16 or 17 years of age said that they had never texted while driving, the same percentage as in State Farm’s first survey two years ago.
Texting appears to be pervasive, even though 76 percent of teens between the ages of 14 and 17 agree that motorists risk their lives by texting while driving and 93 percent believe that an accident is inevitable among drivers who text (“Teen drivers,” 2013). Since October 2010 Texting Organization Against Distracted Driving (TOADD), Inc. is dedicated to creating a safer mobile environment by addressing issues regarding the dangers of being distracted while driving, sexting and cyber bullying.
It is T0add’s civic responsibility to help protect and preserve our mobile environment. There are over 260 million cell phones users in the United States. T0add is committed to partnering with others to ensure that these cell phone users contribute to building a healthier mobile environment (“Texting organization against,” 2010). In response to numerous deaths and auto accidents caused by texting and driving, lawyer, Jason Epstein from Seattle, WA. and other law groups from around the nation founded Teens Against Distracted Driving.
The Tadd program’s objective is to educate teens about the dangers of driving while distracted. Teenagers from around Seattle are in this program to spread the word. They create posters, fliers, websites, etc (Jason, 2013). We have to fight real hard if we want to win the battle against cell phone use and driving. Not only teens but also in the older ages. If we can get the older ages to stop and act as role models then it would be a big help. It may be a hard thing but having less crashes and lives being lose is always a good thing.