Driven to Distraction

Drivento Distraction

Drivento Distraction

Technologyhas made a very huge impact in the survival of the masses all overthe world. Fast and better communication is one of the conveniencesthat technological advances have brought. However, there are manychallenges that are emerging out of this convenience. Every day,manufacturers of technological equipment invent new and more advanceddevices with better capabilities designed to make life even moreconvenient (Copeland, 2010). People are free to use their gadgets atany time to communicate with their friends or do other things. Whilethis is quite an attraction to many people, it poses a serious threatand raises concerns among many. The main problem caused by technologyis that people are unable to concentrate on their work in order to beproductive. Some activities are very sensitive and require one to befully focused. If there is a slight distraction, very seriousproblems can occur. This essay seeks to speak about how drivers loseconcentration on the road by using their mobile phones, which lead toserious accidents.

Thelaw is very clear against drunken driving. People are prohibited fromdriving when under the influence of alcohol because their ability tomake decisions while driving is hampered. Drivers are required to befully alert sinceone moment of carelessness or distraction can causevery serious accidents. Many accident victims have perished out ofthe consequences of losing concentration for just a moment. Driversare required to pay full attention on the road. It is expected ofanyone handling a vehicle to ensure all road users are not exposed toany kind of danger. The actions or inactions of one driver have adirectimpact on the actions of other people. There are many peopleusing the roads apart from motorists (Horrey, Wickens, 2006). Thereare diverse road users such as riders, walkers, and motorcyclists.All these are potential sourcesof distractions that can have seriousconsequences. The situation is more complicated in urbancenters wherepopulations are higher. The authorities have designed various laws inan attempt to curb carelessness on the roads and therefore reduce theamount of crashes that occur on the roads.

Theproblem of distracted driving should be a concern for all. Everyoneuses the roads even if they are not drivers. It is vital for all roadusers to observe the rules passed down by the authorities at alltimes. Some American regions have already banned drivers from usingcell phones. Heavy fines are imposed on drivers found using theirphones while driving. These penalties are designed to deter peoplefrom engaging in activities that can make them fail to be focused onwhat they are doing (Horward, 2010). If people would be moreresponsible and observe the rules on the roads, there would be feweraccidents.

Manyauthoritiesin various parts of the globe have enacted laws banningdrivers fromusing mobile phones. In America, some states are yet toimpose this ban. In others, the ban affects younger drivers who areseen to be easily distracted because if their active social lives.Some people argue that using handheld held devices areresponsible forcausing distractions for drivers. They argue that using hands-freedevices is safer (Strayer, Drews, Crouch, 2006). However, theinherent danger remains the same. It is not just about what yourhands are doing but the level of attention your mind has. When adriver is not fully focused on the driving process, it is very easyto cause an accident. The laws imposed by the authorities to restrictuse of mobile phones are not necessary to save the situation on theroads. People need to change their attitudes while driving and ceasefrom using cell phones whiledriving. It is for the safety of all, towillingly avoid using the mobile phones while driving. Organizationscan develop policies prohibiting their drivers to stop using mobilephones while driving their vehicles. Apart from improving the safetyof the driver, it also eliminates liability on the driver in theevent of an accident. If an accident occurs and it is proved that adriver was using a mobile phone, then more responsibility willbeheaped on the shoulders of such a person.

Itis undisputable that using mobile phones while driving can end up invery serious consequences. However, there are more sources ofdistraction to the drivers. Modern cars have new developments thatare quite engaging. Although all these inventions are designed tomake life better, they can be a problem. It is highly recommendedthat drivers should avoid using these devices while driving to keepthemselves safe (Horrey, Wickens, 2006). Drivers are supposed to befully focused on what they are doing. Studies have proven that theattention of a driver who is using a mobile phone is inhibited. Thecapacity of human beings to concentrate on a number of thingseffectively at the same time is limited. Studies prove that usingmobile phones while driving indeed affects the level of concentrationfor the drivers.

Onestudy proved that the ability of drivers to respond to imperativeevents reduces if they are talking on a mobile phone. Drivers arerequired to respond very fast in some situations to escape crashes.Using a mobile phone impairs them so much that they result in causingan accident. However, listening to audio tapes or music does notcause the same level of distraction. Holding conversations, takesthedriver’s attention away, thus reducing the ability to processinformationabout the environment they are driving in (Strayer, et al,2006). Apart from handling the vehicle, drivers are supposed to bealert for the traffic signs along the way placed to help them use theroads more safely.Special equipment that tracked the eyes of thedriver confirmed that drivers did not notice items they were lookingat when they were talking on their phones. A study conducted in Spainproved that the attention of the driver was reduced by about 30% whena mobile phone was being used. The same study found that the effectsof a hands-freedevice were the same as an engaging conversation heldin the car. However, it is safe to hold discussions that are not tooengaging while driving. According to the researchers, it is adriver’s concentration was compromised by how complex theconversation was. Thus, mental distractions can have the same effectsas environmental ones.

Alot of accidents occur when drivers use their mobile phones. Althoughlaws have been passed to try to stop this, people still use theirmobile phones. Drivers need to be fully alert when handling the road.There are a lot of interruptions on the road that require one to payfull attention. Talking on phone inhibits a person’s ability torespond to emergency situations. A lot of studies have been carriedout in various countries. All the studies prove that it is indeeddangerous to use phoneswhile driving (Copeland, 2010). People shouldavoid the temptation of using their mobile phones while driving byswitching them off. The aim of the study is to establish the level ofdistraction resulting from use of mobile phones. Talking on phone isnot the same as talking to a passenger. The passenger can help noticeissues the driver may not observe. On the other hand, the personspeaking on phone has no way of knowing what is happening in yourcase. Mental distractions are as serious as environmental ones. Apartfrom causing accidents, using a mobile phone canresult in to legalprosecution. Note that, doing anything including checking the time onthe device amounts to using it. It is safer to avoid using mobilephones completely. The statesthat have no laws enforcing this shoulddo it quickly. It will help to protect the livesof many people thatare at the mercy of driverswho do not care. Drivers and other roadusers should not wait for laws to be passed for them to play theirrole in maintaining safety on the roads. They need to change theirattitudes about this and be more cooperative wit the authorities. Itis for their own good to avoid using mobile phones in any way whiledriving. If it is mandatory to use the phone, you can find a place topark the car and then respond to your phone.

References

Copeland,Larry (January 29, 2010). &quotDriverphone bans` impact doubted&quot.USAToday

Horrey,William Christopher Wickens (Spring 2006).&quotExaminingthe Impact of Cell Phone Conversations on Driving Using Meta-AnalyticTechniques&quot(PDF). HumanFactors(HumanFactors and Ergonomics Society)38(1): 196–205.

Howard,Edward (2010), Examiningthe Effect of Driving Experience on Teenage Driving Ability withSecondary Tasks(PDF)

Strayer,D.L., Drews, F.A., and Crouch, D.L.A comparison of the cell phonedriver and the drunk driver. Human Factors: The Journal of the HumanFactors and Ergonomics Society, 2006 (Summer), 381-391 Collet, C.,et al. Phoning while driving I: a review of epidemiological,psychological, behavioral and physiological studies. Ergonomics,2010, 53(5), 589-601.