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Posted on September 4th, 2012, by

Cellphones play an integral role in our society. Nevertheless, the facility they propose must be judged against the danger they offer.

Cellphones are everywhere and we use them for many times a day. It is interesting invention that makes our life better and has own advantages and disadvantages. Moreover, historical facts show that since the beginning of the industrial revolution, the world has changed and new communication innovations have appeared. Cellphone suggests us new opportunities and opens new horizons. Among the advantages of the cellphone we can find a possibility to be closer to our relatives and friends, to be in contact with our children, colleagues and beloved people. Cellphones allow us to be reachable at anytime and even anywhere. One more advantage is consists in fact that cellphone permits us communicate not only at home but also while traveling and driving. The main topic of our work is cellphone use while driving and I want to find arguments for and against cell phone use in the car.

First of all I want to mention that cellphone is not very old invention but due to its conveniences cellphones firmly became the part of everyday life. Statistical data constate the fact of reliance on cellphones greatly increased and it has led to a rise in a number of people who use the devices while driving.  There are two diametrically opposite positions in relation to cellphone use while driving. It is necessary to pay attention on both of them, but position against is more important in my opinion. There are two main dangers associated with driving and cellphone use. Under a concept of cellphone use I imply not only conversations but also text messages writing. First argument consists in statement that drivers must take their eyes off the road while driving. Second argument against consists in position that people can become so preoccupied with conversations that their ability to concentrate on the act of driving is sharply impaired, jeopardizing the safety of car occupants and pedestrians. The latest research shows that while using a cellphone when driving attention has another type and reactions are as affected by emotions. Canada’s scientists illustrate this situation in the next way: among occasions distracted from what be going on the road is a cellphone, alcoholic intoxication or drugs. It turned out that the dispatch of text messages is stronger influences on driver than talks and affects on the concentration of driver on the road. Scientists studied the reaction of drivers on what be going on the road, their concentration and behavioral types. Turned out to be that driver, being in the stage of alcoholic intoxication, is more attentive while driving, than his colleague, accepting drug substances. Thus concentration of attention of sober driver, deciding to write while driving text messages at once goes down on 35% (against 12% under influence of alcohol and 21% under drug substances). I have no aim to justify people who use drugs and alcohol but I want demonstrate a great danger of cellphone use while driving. Besides, researchers mark raised absent-mindedness of the person, distracting on cellphone messages. The question is about the observance of distance, sharp transition from one travelling bar in other, passage by necessary turns. Given study conditioned statistical data that beside 50% citizens of Canada at age from 18 to 24 years use mobile mail while driving, in spite of well-known risk.

I suggest you to look at the fact sheet from the National Safety Council that have an aim educate and influence people to prevent accidental injury and death in acknowledgement of my previous words. National Safety Council’s official website gets to know next important facts which were gather as a result of many organizations’ research work:

ü Using cell phones while driving is a very high risk behavior with significant impact on crashes and society. More than 50 peer-reviewed scientific studies have identified the risks associated with cell phone use while driving.

ü Drivers who use cell phones are four times more likely to be in a crash while using a cell phone. (1997 New England Journal of Medicine examination of hospital records and 2005 Insurance Institute for Highway Safety study linking crashes to cell phone records).

ü There is no difference in the cognitive distraction between hand-held and hands-free devices. (Simulator studies at the U. of Utah.)

ü Cell phone use contributes to an estimated 6 percent of all crashes, which equates to 636,000 crashes, 330,000 injuries, 12,000 serious injuries and 2,600 deaths each year. (Harvard Center of Risk Analysis).

ü 80 percent of crashes are related to driver inattention. There are certain activities that may be more dangerous than talking on a cell phone. However, cell phone use occurs more frequently and for longer durations than other, riskier behaviors. Thus, the 1 source of driver inattention is cell phones. (Virginia Tech 100-car study for NHTSA)

ü It is estimated that more than 100 million people use cell phones while driving. (CTIA The Wireless Association reports 270 million cell phone subscribers. A Nationwide Insurance public opinion poll showed 81 percent of the public admit to talking on a cell phone while driving).

ü The annual cost of crashes caused by cell phone use is estimated to be $43 billion (Harvard Center for Risk Analysis).

ü Talking to a passenger while driving is significantly safer than talking on a cell phone. (University of Utah)

ü Many businesses understand the risk and are already taking action. Among NSC members that responded to a survey, 45 percent (651 of 1453 respondents) said their companies had a cell phone policy of some kind. Of those, 22 percent said they re-engineered their processes to accommodate the policy and 85 percent said the policy did not affect productivity.

Thus, above mentioned information allow us to conclude that cellphone use should be ban in all countries. Returning to the prohibition topic we see that since the first law was passed in New York (as I remember in 2001) banning hand-held cellphone use while driving, there has been stormy debate as to the true nature and degree of danger. Nowadays world’s situation describes as many as 40 countries may limit or prohibit drivers from using cellphones while the act of driving. I have even a list of countries that have laws related to cellphone use while driving. This list includes next countries: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Botswana, Chile, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Malaysia, the Netherlands, Norway, the Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Singapore, the Slovak Republic, Slovenia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, the United Kingdom and Zimbabwe. As we see from the list most countries prohibit the use of hand-held phones while driving and this decision is caused by the danger for all participants of road traffic. Cellphones ban while driving allow only using them with some form of hands-free kit. I want to focus our research on Canada and its rules and laws. Summarizing the popularity of cell phones among Canada population dwells our attention on fact that Since April 1, 2003, it has been illegal in Newfoundland and Labrador to use a hand-held cell phone while driving. While several other jurisdictions have considered legislative interventions, there are currently no other Canadian provinces/territories that have enacted legislation. However, drivers who cause a collision while using a cell phone or who are observed driving unsafely while using the device can be charged under a number of other provincial, territorial, or federal laws including, but not limited to: dangerous driving, careless driving and criminal negligence causing death or injury.

We see information that proclaims cellphone as a danger not only for drivers but also for pedestrian. You can ask me expected question about hands free kits and I have the next facts to calm you. This topic is interesting for specialists and they look for different ways how to improve situation with cellphone use while driving because mobile devices can sometimes even save a life for people who became a victim of traffic accident and help call medical aid in extreme situation. By the way, saving the life in extreme situation and possibility to call medical aid immediately is one my argument for use cellphone while driving. If to be honest, I mean only a possibility to do it but not abuse this variant and talk while driving on personal topics with cellphone help.  Cell phone became a tool that has an aim to help people but sometimes its role changes and it can be a catalyst for dangerous traffic situation.

Thus, taking into account all above mentioned we understand that cell phone is necessary thing but it has dual character that cause by its benefits and suffers from grave shortcomings. For the end of the work I want to familiarize you with rules of safety that can rescue your life and make less dangerous the road around you. As you remember the presence of cellphone in the car gives many advantages, one of which, beyond all doubt, there is a possibility of connection with urgent services in the case of traffic accident. At the same time, using of a cellphone while driving without the special head kit or hands free device is unsafely. Even if you are attentive and careful while driving, conversations can distract your attention from a situation on the road and have irreparable results.

Observing the followings elementary rules of safety on the use of cellphones while driving you will not only secure own life and lives of people who are around you but also be able to prevent a possible tragedy:

1. On a possibility, try to hold back from conversations on a cellphone while driving.

2. Before the start engine, we recommend you to put your cell phone in the soundless mode or turn it off at all.

3. If you must answer on a call while driving make it in a right way using hands-free kit. You should also endeavor to take a talk to minimum and warn an interlocutor that you are in the car and should make off a talk as quick as possible. Also we recommend you to complete your talk if it is disturb you and has very emotional or unpleasant character.

4. Never send text messages and don’t look over mobile content during driving.

5. Don’t look at the numbers of call.

6. Use mobile in a case to call on urgent numbers.

7. Use mobile in an order to help other in emergency situations.

Drivers! You are important to understand that only you can be responsible for your actions and you should respect all participants of road traffic and observe elementary driving rules.

The current legislation of Canada don’t forbid use of the special hands-free kits, allow to speak on a cellphone while driving, don’t occupying hands. Specialists warn at the same time that talks on a cellphone – even if you do not hold it in a hand – in four times increases probability of traffic accident. That’s why you should be careful in your car and follow the elementary rules of cell phone use while driving.

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