Mobile phone use while driving
Mobile phone use while driving is common, but it is widely considered dangerous due to its potential for causing distracted driving and accidents. Due to the number of accidents that are related to cell phone use while driving, some jurisdictions have made the use of a cell phone while driving illegal.
According to Center of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); Distracted driving is driving while doing another activity that takes your attention away from driving. Distracted driving can increase the chance of a motor vehicle crash.
What are the types of distraction?
There are three main types of distraction:
- Visual: taking your eyes off the road;
- Manual: taking your hands off the wheel; and
- Cognitive: taking your mind off of driving.2
Distracted driving activities
Distracted driving activities include things like using a cell phone, texting, and eating. Using in-vehicle technologies (such as navigation systems) can also be sources of distraction. While any of these distractions can endanger the driver and others, texting while driving is especially dangerous because it combines all three types of distraction.
Statistical hazard assessment on mobile phone use during driving
According to Wikipedia report:
A study in 2013 estimated the following risks of a crash or near-crash among novice drivers
|Dialing a cell phone||8.3|
|Reaching for a cell phone||7.1|
|Sending or receiving text messages||3.9|
|Reaching for an object other than a cell phone||8.0|
|Looking at a roadside object (Rubbernecking)||3.9|
|Interaction with radio (or head unit)||1.0|
Among experienced drivers, dialing a cell phone is estimated to increase the risk of a crash or near-crash by odds ratio 2.5.
Other statistical assessments
The NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) states that 80% of accidents and 16% of highway deaths are the result of distracted drivers. The National Safety Council (NSC) estimates that 1.6 million (25%) of crashes annually are due to cell phone use, and another 1 million (18%) traffic accidents are due to text messaging while driving. These numbers equate to one accident every 24 seconds attributed to distracted driving by cell phone use. The NSC also reported that speaking on a cell phone while driving reduces focus on the road and the act of driving by 37%, irrespective of hands-free cell phone operation.
The US Department of Transportation estimates that reaching for a cell phone distracts a driver for 4.6 seconds, or the equivalent of the length of a football field, if the vehicle is traveling 55 miles per hour. It has been shown that reaching for something inside the vehicle increases the accident risk by 9 times. Texting while driving increases the risk of an auto accident by 23 times.
A 2003 study of U.S. crash data states that driver inattention is estimated to be a factor in 20–50 percent of all police-reported crashes. Driver distraction has been determined to be a contributing factor in estimated 8–13 percent of all vehicle crashes. Of distraction-related accidents, cell phone use may range from 1.5 to 5 percent of contributing factors, according to a 2003 study.
My candid opinion on mobile phone use while driving
Now we have seen the odds and dangers of mobile phone use while driving, so can we say that mobile phone use while driving is illegal?
I believe from the moral perspective, no one will feel good being a source of danger to his/herself or someone else he/she is sharing the road with. So since the use of mobile phone while driving results in distracted driving, which is a major cause of accident on the road, then it should be avoided.
I believe it’s better late than be late. It is better to return that call late, that the call being cut shut by a fatal accident.
Before you reach out for your phone while driving, remember:
- That call can wait
- You must not respond to that message immediately
- You must not read that update while on the wheel.
If any of those activities is very important, then pullover somewhere safe, do what you have to do before mounting the road again.
Stay safe and avoid being distracted by your mobile phone while on the road.
Now if the government declares the use of mobile phone while driving to be illegal and attach dire punishment to such act will they be WRONG?
Have your say on this………..Comments and opinions are welcome