Cellular phones are currently very popular, with over 137 million subscribers in the United States by late 2002 (Strayer, Drews and Johnston 23). The authors further note the subsequent increase in the count of persons conversing on cell phones while driving unaware of the risks they pose to themselves and their passengers. In fact, Laberge-Nadeau (5) asserts that an estimated 85% of the cell phone possessor utilizes their hand set while driving.
According tot the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)(1), in 2009, a total of 5,474 people died on the United States roadways and approximately extra 448,000 were afflicted with injuries resulting from motor vehicles crashes that were an attribute of distracted driving. 995 of deaths associated with distracted-driving–related accidents were attributing to cell phone use; representing 18% of the overall fatalities in distraction-related accidents.
Arguably, these cases are avoidable because they directly involve indiscipline by individuals. Live is precious thing which cannot be replaced, such that anybody who acts in a way that he or she put a live or lives at risk does not deserve the tiniest empathy with regard to penalties associated with violation of the relevant legislation (Laberge-Nadeau para. 5).
Because, such ignorance has cost many lives very heavy penalties should be placed by the government to address cases of violation of this fundamental human rights. The thought of such penalties should serve to dissuade individuals from using their phones while driving.
From a personal perspective, a live is a phenomenon that cannot be replaced once it is lost. Similarly injuries cannot be reversed once they occur. Thus why should a live be lost, or a body function be lost because of a mere device. This is not comprehensible in the light of the sociological and psychological loses suffered by the casualty or their families or the people associated with them.
Think of the people who have been rendered psychotic because of the loss of loved ones, and of the children that have been rendered miserable because their bread winner have been killed in a crash associated with cell phone destruction. This in turn has put strain on the government health and social budget in attempt to provide for such victims.
Surely, this behavior and subsequent death and injuries, can be avoided. It takes just the tiniest exertion of discipline and concern for fellow humans. Some simple measures like stopping and parking the car appropriately off the road to make or receive the call can contribute enormously in curbing such unnecessary costly deaths.
Alternatively, the driver can set the cell phone on voice mail and postpone the call until she arrives at a safe place. Such and more simple measures is all that may take to keep all and sundry safe on the road.
Nevertheless, this trend has raised safety concerns due to the high number of accidents attributed to the use of cell phones while driving. Because of such concerns, various legislative measures have been developed to curb cell phone use on the road (Strayer, Drews and Johnston 23).
Often, the legislation on cell phones use and driving considers peripheral elements including holding the phone while talking or dialing. Indeed, in 2001, the state of New York enacted a law prohibiting the use of handled phones when driving, though it permitted the use of handsfree phones (Chapter 69 of the Laws of 2001, section 1225c State of New York).
Laberge-Nadeau, Claire, Linking data from different sources to estimate the risk of a collision when using a cell phone while driving. Toronto, Canada, 2005. 19 April, 2011. http://www.distracteddriving.ca/english/documents/FrancoisBellavance_001.pdf.
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Traffic safety facts: Distracted Driving 2009. United States Department of Transportation; Report released Sept 2010. 19 April, 2011. http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/811379.pdf
Strayer, David L., Drews, Frank A., & Johnston, William A. Cell Phone-Induced Failures of Visual Attention During Simulated Driving. Journal of Experimental Psychology, 9.1(2003): 23–32. American Psychological Association,Inc. DOI: 10.1037/1076-898X.9.1.23