Cell Phone use in a Vehicle. Part 2

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Texting is in fact probably the most dangerous activity you can dream of, in six seconds of driving a text-er will spend 4.6 of them with their eyes off the road. The Following graph shows cell phone, and cell phone related activities that occur in cars as well as the elevated accident risk that occurs from participating in each. The graph is sourced.


Activity
Crash likely-hood increase compared to non-distracted driver.
Dialling
2.8X
Reaching for an electronic
1.4X
Talking on the phone
1.3X
Texting (truck driver specifically)
23.2X
Dialling (truck driver)
5.9X
Reaching for phone (truck driver)
6.7X


Many people who are against banning cell phones in cars claim that talking with a passenger would be just as if not more distracting, however in a study done the University of South Carolina it was found that listening requires far less focus then speaking or preparing to speak. Therefore, when one considers that the number of times one actually speaks during a phone call is more than to ones passengers then cell phones are more dangerous. Also, a passenger driver conversation may involve the traffic itself helping the driver to pay close attention, and a passenger is generally thought to regulate conversation keeping it minimal during obstacles. In contrast with a cell phone conversation the caller cannot tell if you are driving with not a single soul in sight, or if you are in rush hour traffic. Also when comparing cell phones and passengers, those using cell phones were four times more likely to miss a turn, while with a passenger no difference was seen compared to no distraction.


When you look at the over whelming evidence of the dangers of driving with cell phones I feel it becomes very evident that they should be altogether banned while driving, and that to be caught with one should be just as punishable as driving under the influence. However despite the countless studies claiming cell phones to be as dangerous as drinking a driving, DUI is still 40% of all accidents while cells are only ~30% this shows significantly higher amount of drinking and driving incidents. I firmly believe that Alberta like many of the other provinces should ban phones, and that the penalty for using them should be a fine of at least $200 for first time offenders, and $500 for second, as well as a five demerit points per offence. After all incidents like the one described at the beginning of this essay should never occur for such a foolish reason. The problem of course with banning the use of phones altogether is that to do so would make a lot of professional business people very unhappy. However to just ban hand held devices only provides an illusion of security when one considers that hand free cells are no safer then hand held. This makes the decision very hard, do you ban phones all together or do you ban hand held to at least remove texting, or do you not ban any at all even though people are dying.





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