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Smartphone Use Can Be Life Threatening

1611 words - 7 pages

Steven Crawford
Baker College

Smartphone use can be Life Threatening

Driving down the road, on the right the driver is swerving, to the front the car does not seem to be able to maintain its speed. What could be going on, are the drivers drunk or perhaps having a medical emergency? Truth is the drivers are using their smartphones while they are driving. This is a theme that is becoming more and more apparent as technology becomes cheaper. New innovations bring more to the consumer’s finger tips than ever before. Smartphones can now be used as onboard GPS units, they have the ability to stream video or watch downloaded movies, texting, calling, ...view middle of the document...

Today cell phones allow us to text, tweet, post on facebook, as well as enjoying other social networks; these distractions are becoming more and more dangerous and with the desire for these devices on a sharp rise so does the want to use them in every instance of the day to include driving. According to Shaw, G. of the Vancouver Sun. "Dr. Ryan a Beverly Hills plastic surgeon drove his Jeep off a cliff right after sending a tweet from his cell phone" (March, 2011). This incident only highlights a problem that continues to rise. The New York Times published a 2003 Harvard Study that estimates "cell phone distractions caused 2600 traffic deaths and 330,000 accidents that resulted in moderate or severe injuries" (July, 2009). The Times also reported that "cell phone users rose eight fold from 1995-2008 to over 270 million and the number of minutes talked rose 58 fold in the same time period" (July, 2009). There continues to be a rise not only in the number of people that use cell phones while driving but also in the number of accidents caused by cell phone distractions.
A study conducted by a university of Utah Professor shows that while drivers can multi-task, drivers that were distracted by texting or other cell phone functions will almost assuredly get into an accident or near-miss. The study also indicated that the "cell phone and alcohol conditions differed significantly from each other"..."When drivers were conversing on a cell phone, they were involved in more rear-end collisions and took longer to recover the speed that they had lost during braking than when they were intoxicated." (Human Factors, Summer 2006, p.387). According to Shaw of the Vancouver Sun trough Ford’s driving simulator "a driver should not take their eyes off the road for more than 1.5 seconds" (March, 2011). Why is it then that drivers find themselves performing all these tasks while in the car? Studies show that the drive to work is farther than ever on average, so there is less desire to be at work but the amount of work is still increasing. There is an ever changing climate to stay connect to the world so how is it that all this is accomplished through the use of those fancy new phones that keep coming out. Look at the picture below and you can get a sense of why distracted driving is so serious, while no one was hurt in this incident it was still very expensive; that car in the water is a $1 million dollar Bugatti!

Can it be that cell phones and distracted driving is really such a negative thing, are smart phones all that bad? Car manufacturers are installing hands free devices directly into the vehicles to make it easier to use these devices while driving; computer developers are continuously creating programs that make it easier and “safer” to use your phone while driving. Ford has even started a new campaign...

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