Cell Phone Use While Driving

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Distracted Driving and Cell Phone Use

Distracted driving poses a danger to passengers, drivers, and other road users. Distraction occurs when drivers focus on different activities other than driving. Cell phone use is one of the biggest causes of accidents and fatalities owing to distracted driving (Kahn, Cisneros, Lotfipour, Imani, & Chakravarthy, 2015). Cell phones are used while driving in various ways. For example, some drivers make and receive phone calls while driving. On the other hand, other drivers send or reply to text messages. In recent years, the distraction caused by cell phone use has contributed to the incidence of car accidents (Klauer et al., 2014). In this paper, I will consider the dangers associated with cell phone use while driving and propose regulations that can be created to reduce such occurrences.

Dangers of Cell Phone Use During Driving

The use of mobile phones during driving poses several dangers. For example, it heightens the occurrence and severity of vehicle collisions (Kahn et al., 2015). Motorists and pedestrians risk either minor, fatal, or even crippling injuries. Massive amounts of property are also destroyed upon the occurrence of accidents. Vehicle owners also incur high costs of repair and restoration. Besides, other costs are concerned with health care and litigation. In many cases, insurance companies are faced with the task of administering hefty repayments to affected clients. Vehicle collisions during rush hour can cause nasty snarl-ups in traffic jams. In this manner, employees lose crucial work time and hence hurt the success of businesses (Delgado, Wanner, & McDonald, 2016). Therefore, policymakers need to be concerned about the laws that have been put in place to curb the accidents caused by cell phone use while driving.

Impaired Driver Concentration caused by Cell Phone Use

The use of cell phones during driving has impeded driver concentration in several ways. In some instances, drivers become distracted while searching for a cell phone. The attention of other drivers is also diverted in an attempt to pick up a dropped phone. Some drivers have justified the use of hands-free cell phones while driving. However, using a cell phone consumes mental energy. It also requires coordination and time that are diverted from driving (Stothart, Mitchum, & Yehnert, 2015). Hence, the task of driving becomes more complicated and results in the same level of collision risk. Therefore, legislation needs to be formed to cover all instances through which cell phones can be used.

Current Regulations and the Need for Stricter Laws

Granted, several states have adopted particular measures aimed at curbing the use of cell phones while driving. For example, 14 states have expressly banned all types of drivers from using hand-held gadgets while driving (McCartt, Kidd, & Teoh, 2014). Traffic officers are also empowered to cite drivers for any offenses in this area. Also, 46 states prohibit all drivers from reading and sending text messages while driving (McCartt et al., 2014). Notwithstanding, the present laws have loopholes that pose unique dangers. For example, no state has placed total bans on cell phone use by all categories of drivers. Both novice and experienced drivers must face restrictions on the use of cell phones while driving.

The Need for Comprehensive Cell Phone Use Regulations

Indeed, cell phone use while driving must be regulated to reduce the occurrence of road accidents. Mature and experienced drivers are wrongly assumed to have better skills at concentrating on the road while using a cell phone. Nonetheless, many road accidents and vehicle collisions owing to cell phone use are caused by experienced drivers. Furthermore, some states have adopted preemption laws that prevent localities from enforcing laws against cell phone use while driving. Consequently, it is critical to enact laws that prohibit the use of cell phones during driving for all types of drivers.


Delgado, M. K., Wanner, K. J., & McDonald, C. (2016). Adolescent cellphone use while driving: An overview of the literature and promising future directions for prevention. Media and communication, 4(3), 79.

Kahn, C. A., Cisneros, V., Lotfipour, S., Imani, G., & Chakravarthy, B. (2015). Distracted Driving, A Major Preventable Cause of Motor Vehicle Collisions: “Just Hang Up and Drive”. Western journal of emergency medicine, 16(7), 1033.

Klauer, S. G., Guo, F., Simons-Morton, B. G., Ouimet, M. C., Lee, S. E., & Dingus, T. A. (2014). Distracted driving and risk of road crashes among novice and experienced drivers. New England Journal of Medicine, 370(1), 54-59.

McCartt, A. T., Kidd, D. G., & Teoh, E. R. (2014). Driver cellphone and texting bans in the United States: Evidence of effectiveness. Annals of Advances in Automotive Medicine, 58, 99.

Stothart, C., Mitchum, A., & Yehnert, C. (2015). The attentional cost of receiving a cell phone notification. Journal of experimental psychology: Human perception and performance, 41(4), 893.

August 21, 2023

Communication Technology

Subject area:

Cell Phones

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Expertise Cell Phones
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