Cell Phones: Dangerous and Deadly When on the Road

Essay by JamRockinCollege, UndergraduateA, April 2005

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There are many dangers that drivers face everyday when driving. One must always be prepared for and very attentive of other, often irresponsible, drivers, unfavorable road conditions, and of course, distractions. Drivers frequently experience unwanted and unexpected distractions like crying children in the backseat or a drink spilling. But drivers often bring distractions on themselves by turning up the radio volume, engaging in a heated discussion with a passenger, or eating and drinking while driving. Yet few distractions are as deliberate and as deadly as the use of a cell phone while driving. The psychological distractions that cell phones create for drivers hinder the user's normal psychological focus on driving tasks because the conversation becomes the driver's main priority instead of safe driving.

The role of cell phones has changed over the recent years. Once viewed as a source of contacting help in times of emergency, "mobile" or "car" phones are now "cell" phones and are used with the same discretion as a home and/or office telephone.

Cell phone companies now offer deals where minutes are unlimited and calls are free if placed to another cell phone using that company. Family packages are available and widely used, so now mom, dad, and kids all own a cell phone. With most of America owning a cell phone, rates have become much cheaper. Now, without the prior restrictions, including cost, typical cell phone calls placed while driving have transformed from informing your mother you are stuck in traffic and will be late to arguing with your mother about the price of the prom dress you wanted while on your way home from the mall. With the change of function for the devices new concerns have been raised about the safety of talking on a cell phone while operating a vehicle.

The combination...