The cell phone is perhaps the most significant invention of the 21st century. Cell phones have become almost an essential basic need of any human being. Like all the other devices, there has been an endless debate on the use of cell phones, especially when driving. There is controversy about whether cell phones while driving are a pro or a con.
Pros of cell phone use while driving
1. They improve mental alertness: Using cell phones while driving increases the driver’s awareness and attention. Cell phone usage also significantly reduces a driver’s fatigue when driving long, monotonous distances.
2. They are effective for crime reporting: Cell phones allow drivers to immediately call the police whenever they encounter any suspicious actions by other road users. The ability of citizen drivers to reach while driving helps to reduce road-related crimes like speeding, road rage, and reckless driving.
3. They are effective for traffic reports and updates: Many local governments provide traffic updates to their drivers. To receive up-to-the-minute updates, drivers use their cell phones to call a designated number to get information on accidents, routes to avoid, and estimated trip times.
4. They expand productivity for commuters: Consumers with long commutes to and from work using cell phones to conduct personal and their organization’s business matters when driving. They work while driving since they spend a substantial percentage of their day on vehicles.
5. They contribute to security and peace of mind: Using cell phones while driving reduces worry and stress, which leads to peace of mind. The ability to communicate adds a sense of security even when traveling alone in an unfamiliar location, a remote town, or poor weather.
6. Their cameras are crucial when driving: Almost all cell phones have cameras; these cameras allow drivers to take pictures of number plates in the event of a hit and run. Plus, drivers use cell phones to take photos and videos of an accident for their insurance companies.
7. They increase social connectivity: Caught unexpectedly in an hour’s traffic jam? It is the best time to call a friend you have not communicated with for quite long. Cell phones are a great way to reconnect with friends, relatives, and associates.
8. They reduce the number and duration of trips: Use of cell phones. At the same time, the use of cell phones while driving prevents unnecessary trips. It minimizes the duration of trips since there is effective communication with family, friends, and other parties. Reducing these trips also curtails fuel expenses, vehicle maintenance fees, and the probability of being involved in accidents.
9. They are a lifeline: Drivers can quickly call for immediate road assistance with cell phones. They also allow paramedics to be contacted immediately in case of any severe accident. Cell phones can save a life.
10. They help in navigation: Cell phones can be a savior when drivers are unsure of the direction. Drivers can quickly call when they are unsure of the routes to their destinations. Moreover, the GPS technology on cell phones provides turn-by-turn directions and real-time traffic information to the driver.
Cons of cell phone use while driving
1. They lead to erratic driving: Texts and calls on cell phones keep the driver’s hands off the wheel and their eyes off the road. Therefore, they may fail to give the proper signals, observe road signs or respond to hazards as required.
2. They put others at risk: Cell phone use while driving should be prohibited at all costs since it is a hazard to other drivers and passengers. Not only do drivers put their lives at risk, but their passengers, other drivers, and pedestrians too.
3. They result in accidents: Cell phone use while driving results in thousands of fatal road accidents every year. It also causes severe injuries, and some may end up blind, crippled, or bed-ridden in and out of the hospitals throughout their lives. Some drivers believe that they can still pick up calls while driving, which is unsafe.
4. They cause dangerous distractions: Total concentration is crucial for driving. The use of cell phones while on the road causes the inability to keep the mind focused on the road. Picking phone calls entails a variety of destructive maneuvres such as: searching for a ringing phone in the vehicle, dialing to receive or initiate a call, picking it up in case it falls, and so forth.
5. They divert the driver’s attention: Cell phones shift the attention of attentive drivers from the road. They make it impossible for the driver to be fully aware of their surroundings which can easily cause collisions. Furthermore, simultaneous use of cell phones while driving decreases the driver’s awareness of the safety of roads.
6. They lead to loss of life: There is undoubtedly no message, update or call on the phone that can compare to one’s precious life. Cell phone use while driving is a selfish decision that can lead to car crashes, resulting in the death of the passengers or the drivers themselves.
7. They are a vision distractor: Most importantly, cell phones may cause a driver to look elsewhere other than the road. A driver is likely to slow down their car when picking a call or replying to a text message, and their fate can be a car crash.
8. It is against the law: Some states have passed laws that have banned the use of hand-held cell phones while driving, and other states are following suit. In case of an accident that involves a cell phone, other states require that police officers gather information from the phone during investigation.
9. You can be charged with heavy fines and penalties: Nations like China, Singapore, and the United Kingdom have strict laws on the use of cell phones while driving. If found, the law requires you to pay a certain amount of money as a penalty fee.
10. They can lead to aggressive driving: Some motorists and drivers can exhibit aggressive behavior after engaging in a stressful cell phone conversation. Angry behaviors like road rage can cause dangerous driving, which is risky.