The use of cellular phones has spread like wild fire in the last ten years. Ithas become a part of everyday life for many American citizens, and a good numberof people depend on them to carry out daily operations. Unfortunately, many ofthese daily operations occur while the individual is driving. As a result, manyaccidents have taken place in the last ten years due to the use of cellularphones while on the road. This leads me to believe that if people can’tconcentrate on the road while talking on a cell phone they shouldn’t talk atall while driving.
Rather than restricting access, the goal should be to providein-vehicle information systems and safer means to using your cellular phonewhile driving. I understand that restricting cell phone usage while driving alltogether isn’t the best means to solving the problem. Many good aspects comefrom cellular use in the car. For example, accidents get reported to 911rapidly, traffic updates occur more often because citizens call and report backups, and drivers who need to be taken off the road because of being intoxicatedor just plain reckless will be located quicker and easier. I do, however,believe that more safety precautions need to be taken for individuals who willbe 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 youcan keep both hands on the wheel while driving and talking.
Some of these comein the form of headsets and give the user a voice activated sequence, whichallows 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 anddepleted the act of dialing the phone. Both which allow you to keep your handson the wheel and eyes on the road. One of the most recent advancements incellular technology comes from [Brightcell Technologies].
It is called theTriflex Hands-free phone kit. The Triflex turns your cell phone into aspeakerphone. It works by plugging in a DC adapter to your car’s cigarettelighter or power outlet. You place your phone in the cradle of the kit and aspecial connector in the base recharges your unit, saving battery power andconverting your conversations into speakerphone mode. Because of inadequatereporting, there is insufficient data to show the magnitude of safety problemsrelating to the use of cell phones.
This is because only two states have asection on accident reports dedicated to weather or not a cell phone was presentin the car at the time of the accident. Minnesota and Oklahoma are the twostates in which have received decent records on the safety related problems withcell phone use while driving. In just one year the number of accidents relatingto cell phone use increased in Oklahoma by 26.5 %.
Driver inattention is themost frequently identified factor among cellular telephone users. The next mostfrequently noted conditions are failure to yield and following too close. Basedon these facts alone, it is easy to see that cellular phones and driving don’tmix to well. Until we have more safety features given to us that go along withcell phones, we shouldn’t mix the two.
In reading the website “Aninvestigation of the Safety Implications of Wireless Communications inVehicles”, I learned that the safety means necessary in achieving safe drivingwhile talking on the phone could be accomplished through the application of goodengineering and human factors design practice. The recommendations made were asfollows: Improving data collection and reporting, improving consumer education,initiating a broad range of research to better define and understand theproblem, addressing issues associated with use of cellular phones from vehiclesto access emergency services, encouraging enforcement of existing state laws toaddress inattentive driving behavior, and lastly, using the National AdvancedDriving Simulator (NADS) and instrumented vehicles to study optimaldriver/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 bemade.
In conclusion, because of the rapid growth and demand for cell phones manymore accidents are occurring daily. Cell phone use in cars serve some goodpurposes too and have become a part of life to some individuals, so it’ssimple to see that we can’t just ban them from cars all together. But itdoesn’t mean that we can’t take greater steps in the advancement of safetyfeatures for wireless services in those same individual’s cars. If all of therecommendations made earlier took place, then people could definitely talk ontheir phone while driving and be completely safe from their previous flaws ininattentiveness.