“Do whatever you want to me! Just don’t take away my cell phone!!”
Doesn’t this sentence describe our collective attachment and sentiment today toward these devices? It’s hard to deny that The Cell Phone has become so weaved into our daily—even hourly or “by the minute”–existence that an increasingly overwhelming majority of us have difficulty remembering how we functioned without it.
And it’s hard to deny that increasing numbers of us are using this device while we’re driving.
And up to now, different states, regions and municipalities have adopted different regulations ranging from restrictions on cell phone texting to outright bans on hand-held cell phone use.
But now, a federal agency is calling for the game to change nationwide. The Associated Press reports in a recent article that The National Transportation Safety Board has recently recommended that all states impose total bans on all cell phone use while driving, including the use of hands-free cell phones. This recommendation is prompted by recent deadly crashes attributable in whole or part to cell phone use, and increasingly alarming statistics from surveys about such use in cars nationwide.
A recent survey conducted by The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows that at any given moment last year on America’s streets and highways, nearly one in every 100 car drivers was texting, emailing, surfing the Web or otherwise using a hand-held electronic device—and those activities were up 50 percent over the previous year.
This survey also shows that about two out of 10 American drivers overall – and half of drivers between 21 and 24 – say they’ve texted messages or emailed from the driver’s seat.
However, the survey found that many drivers don’t think it’s dangerous when they do it – only when others do.
Does the game need changing? Is the increased convenience and productivity that cell phone use gives us behind the wheel worth the increased risk of potential calamity we could cause? Should all cell phone use while driving be against the law? Should just hand-held cell phone use be illegal? Or should the law only prohibit cell-phone texting by drivers? What are your thoughts? It may very well be that either you or your elected representatives will be asked to vote on these questions in the not too distant future.