The use of cellular phones has spread like wild fire in the last ten years. It has become a part of everyday life for many American citizens, and a good number of people depend on them to carry out daily operations. Unfortunately, many of these daily operations occur while the individual is driving. As a result, many accidents have taken place in the last ten years due to the use of cellular phones while on the road. This leads me to believe that if people cant concentrate on the road while talking on a cell phone they shouldnt talk at all while driving. Rather than restricting access, the goal should be to provide in-vehicle information systems and safer means to using your cellular phone while driving.
I understand that restricting cell phone usage while driving all together isnt the best means to solving the problem. Many good aspects come from cellular use in the car. For example, accidents get reported to 911 rapidly, traffic updates occur more often because citizens call and report back ups, and drivers who need to be taken off the road because of being intoxicated or just plain reckless will be located quicker and easier.
I do, however, believe that more safety precautions need to be taken for individuals who will be talking on their phones while driving. Phones are being created by Erricson, Motorolla, and Nokia today in which offer a hands-free cell phone so that you can keep both hands on the wheel while driving and talking. Some of these come in the form of headsets and give the user a voice activated sequence, which allows you to talk into the speaker, and the number will instantly be dialed. All ready this has eliminated the chance of your hands being off the wheel and depleted the act of dialing the phone. Both which allow you to keep your hands on the wheel and eyes on the road. One of the most recent advancements in cellular technology comes from Brightcell Technologies. It is called the Triflex Hands-free phone kit. The Triflex turns your cell phone into a speakerphone. It works by plugging in a DC adapter to your cars cigarette lighter or power outlet. You place your phone in the cradle of the kit and a special connector in the base recharges your unit, saving battery power and converting your conversations into speakerphone mode.
Because of inadequate reporting, there is insufficient data to show the magnitude of safety problems relating to the use of cell phones. This is because only two states have a section on accident reports dedicated to weather or not a cell phone was present in the car at the time of the accident. Minnesota and Oklahoma are the two states in which have received decent records on the safety related problems with cell phone use while driving. In just one year the number of accidents relating to cell phone use increased in Oklahoma by 26.5 %. Driver inattention is the most frequently identified factor among cellular telephone users. The next most frequently noted conditions are failure to yield and following too close. Based on these facts alone, it is easy to see that cellular phones and driving dont mix to well. Until we have more safety features given to us that go along with cell phones, we shouldnt mix the two.
In reading the website An investigation of the Safety Implications of Wireless Communications in Vehicles, I learned that the safety means necessary in achieving safe driving while talking on the phone could be accomplished through the application of good engineering and human factors design practice. The recommendations made were as follows: Improving data collection and reporting, improving consumer education, initiating a broad range of research to better define and understand the problem, addressing issues associated with use of cellular phones from vehicles to access emergency services, encouraging enforcement of existing state laws to address inattentive driving behavior, and lastly, using the National Advanced Driving Simulator (NADS) and instrumented vehicles to study optimal driver/vehicle interfaces. If the majority of these recommendations were made, driving while using your wireless technology would be much easier and safer. Many accidents could be spared if only the proper safety precautions would be made.
In conclusion, because of the rapid growth and demand for cell phones many more accidents are occurring daily. Cell phone use in cars serve some good purposes too and have become a part of life to some individuals, so its simple to see that we cant just ban them from cars all together. But it doesnt mean that we cant take greater steps in the advancement of safety features for wireless services in those same individuals cars. If all of the recommendations made earlier took place, then people could definitely talk on their phone while driving and be completely safe from their previous flaws in inattentiveness.