Texting and Driving
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Increasing number of studies illustrate the dangers of driving while operating handheld devices especially cell phones. In the United States, it is a growing problem yet the frightening fact is that most states have not yet banned the use of cell phones while driving, and even more allow the use of hands free devices such as earphones. The foremost excuse in the issue is that the law is unenforceable (Champion 1). The other issue is that drivers do other distracting things while driving, such as eating and talking to passengers in the back seats, utterly dividing their attention. Are those on the chopping block to be banned?
If one goes by this argument, list of alternatives is endless, but the problem lingers. However, one should evaluate the consequence or significance of the cell phone hazard to public safety. The best place to start is the statistics of mishaps and accidents caused in that category. It is documented that talking on a cell phone increases the chances of a crash by four times. Everyone can agree that this is much more dangerous than other distracting activities such as eating or drinking.
The blame for the addiction that people have on the cell phone falls on the need for connectivity between individuals. Most have the desire to connect with their relatives and friends; however, this has upgraded to staying in touch with possible connections around the globe. The advent of internet technology came the realization that it was possible to communicate and conduct one’s transactions from any place within seconds (Burke & Cooper 264). Research done on business executives in the working class revealed their tools of choice were mostly mobile devices. Addictive behavior can emanate from work related engagements, as well as the addictive behavior related to technology, to mutually reinforcing activities.
A workaholic typically wants to take work home or on vacations, and sneak a fix at any time and place. In the past, it would seem impossible to carry their office around with them, but now what they need is in their pockets, with all benefits to go with it. On the other hand, addiction to technology goes hand in hand, and the person seeks all sorts of excuses to tell a complaining wife or explains the demands of a profession to hide the underlying truth. Most users will admit the addictive potential of technology, but it is always in the third person perspective: ‘it is always the other guy with the problem’.
It is classic with other addictions such as alcoholism, and hard substance abuse where the person displaces blame to a third party. The problem is never at home because then it would have to be dealt with. A suggestion for identifying whether work addiction is a problem is for the individual in question to draw a family organization schedule that is based on the attention allocation. Here, they will depict its location and not the expectation or correction. This gives a better scope of the problem.
The person can see how much of their time and attention goes toward their ‘addiction’ generally, even if it ascribes to their work or leisure. Then can thus compare it with the pressing priorities in their life and see the areas of neglect. Facing the problem is an initial way of dealing with the issue. It may be as small as texting while driving, but it is part of a larger scale problem. Using cell phones while driving is an illustration of the attention deficit there is in the population to practical issues.
Of course, others in the research and development industry have decided try a different option for the problem. Instead of approaching the issue by dealing with the troubles of the person behind the wheel, the other option is to fight fire with fire. Here, the technology sector is currently working on new advances to the safety systems within vehicles that give indicative warnings about imminent crashes. It would significantly limit the instances of accidents caused not only by cell phone distractions, but also by other slights such as sleeping while driving or disorientations.
Any advancement joins the list of innovative solutions; however, it cannot be done on its own. Safety improvements such as reducing drunken driving and highway speeds would solve the issue (Porter 466). Other countries have put in the initiative on the path to succeed on this issue. Research conducted on the causes of traffic accidents in other nations has prompted stricter regulations carried out on drivers, with steep penalties being implemented on people caught when operating hand held devices such as mobile phones (Champion 1).
Other perspectives say that hand held devices do not pose much of a threat, on the other hand. In fact, some researchers state that the extent of the distraction does not depend on the hand held device or hands free, but the intensity of the conversation of the driver with the people in the passenger seats. Therefore, there seems to be a tendency for driving to be the least priority in this age of multi-tasking. In this perspective there needs to be a call for better safety regulations upgrading the importance of safe driving as a priority, and not a chore of transportation from one place to the next. More importantly, safe driving must be made a personal prerogative.
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