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Cell Phones and Driving: Industry Research and Solutions to a Growing Problem

Dom Einhorn
 


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Driving is a skill that requires all of your attention. Not only must a person be physically capable of performing the tasks involved with driving, but they also must remain cognitively aware. There are many things that can distract a person while they are driving and one of the major distractions is the use of a cell phone. There have been several studies conducted that show the dangers of using a cell phone while driving. One of the biggest issues of using a cell phone while driving is that talking on the phone requires attention and that is attention that is not being paid to the road and other travelers around you. Additionally, more and more people have cell phones and the number of people on the road using their cell phone is increasing.

Research Results

The AAA Foundation is a charitable organization that provides research, data, and educational advice on the dangers of the roadways. The foundation has conducted many types of research that involve driver safety. Some of the results of the research done by or for the foundation found the following about the use of cell phones while driving:

• Over half of the drivers in the United States have reported that they have used a cell phone while they were driving within the past 30 days. Additionally, one out of every 7 driver admitted to texting while they were driving.

• Young drivers are more likely to text while driving than older drivers. However, both older and younger drivers report talking on their cell phones almost proportionately. Additionally, there was a correlation between the amount of education a person has and their cell phone use, with individuals who have a higher level of education being more likely to talk on their phone or text while they are driving. While the majority of the American public believes that talking on a cell phone or texting while driving is a serious problem and it is unacceptable to do so, the statistics show that many people still participate in the activity. Almost 2/3s of drivers believe that using a hands free device is safer. However, the evidence concluded from research finds that it is not.

Solutions

Cell phones are becoming a part of everyday life, with almost everyone owning some type of cellular device. While the use of cell phones is becoming more popular, so is the use of them while driving. The dangers of using a cell phone while driving are extremely high. In fact, statistics show that using your phone while driving makes you four times more likely to be in an accident. Texting while driving is even more dangerous and makes it eight times as likely that you will be in an accident. There need to be more laws in place that ban the use of cell phones while driving. Many states currently have anti-texting laws and banning phones while driving may need to be the next step. Hands free devices are not much safer to use, even though two out of every three people believe they are. Education about the dangers of cell phones and other preventable distractions while driving needs to start at a young age.

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