Statistics show that from 2003 to 2014 the number of accidents that were caused by drivers using a cell phone increased from 636,000 to an astounding 1.6 million. (CBS News, 2010). This a growing trend that shows the use of cells phones while driving is an extremely dangerous activity which has had severe consequences for many individuals, and therefore should be prohibited to help ensure the safety on the roads. There are too many things that can go wrong when driving a car without any distractions. Taking attention away from the road for any reason is not only detrimental to others but all drivers. While most people realize that driving a vehicle is a privilege and responsibility that should be taken very seriously, there are some people that believe that the convenience factor outweighs the risks.
According to K. Lissy, J. Cohen, M. Park, and J. Graham in their report Cellular Phone Use While Driving: Risks and Benefits (2000), some of the benefits that people find in using cell phones when driving are both personal and communal. Being able to use a cell phone while driving helps people reduce unnecessary trips, shorten the duration of their trips, and overall minimizes the amount of time spent on the road (Lissy, Cohen, Park, & Graham, 2000, p. 41). An example of this would be a woman who needs to go to the grocery store after work. If her husband calls her while she is on her way to the store and tells her he has already picked up what they needed, then this would reduce her overall time on the road.
This in turn would lower the chance to be involved in traffic accidents which cause injuries, and fatalities. A few of the benefits to the community cited in this report by Lissy et al. (2000) include assistance in the event of an emergency, and helping to apprehend criminals. A driver can use their cell phone to report accidents, road rage, reckless driving or other suspicious activity like someone potentially driving under the influence (Lissy, Cohen, Park, & Graham, 2000, p. 47). Although some people argue that these benefits outweigh the consequences, there are studies that include statistical data and real life events that tell a completely different story.
Joe Teater was a young boy with a bright future. He was smart, popular, and had a keen interest in making movies (LaHood, 2009). In a CBS News report entitled Cell Phone Ban While Driving Gets Big Push (12, 2010), Joe would have been a freshman in college if it weren't for the tragic events that occurred six years ago. He was killed in a 2004 crash caused by a driver talking on a cell phone. The other driver involved, Holly Smeckert, was talking on her cell phone when she ran a red light and violently struck a Chevrolet Suburban driven by Joe's mother Judy Teater. Sadly, Joe passed away the next day from his injuries (CBS News, 2010).
The Teaters have said that the anguish of losing their son will never go away and they are telling their story so they can turn their grief into an effort to make the roads safer for everyone again (Lahood, 2009). The website (momlogic.com) has an article titled Texting and Driving Deadly for Teens (2008) tells the story of another unfortunate victim named Dana Trammell, who was only 17, and on her way to school for the first day of senior year. Tragically, she never made it there. Danielle was texting someone while driving when she suddenly crashed and was tossed from her vehicle, and pronounced dead at the scene.
These are just two of the many examples that show how driving while