Driving Distractions And Its Effects Essay

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Driving Under The Influence Of Cell Phones - With A Free Essay Review




Imagine headlights from an oncoming vehicle veering in your direction and almost side-swiping your car, or the car in front of you swerving and then hitting the brakes just a few seconds short of rear ending someone. Lately these drivers have not been impaired by drugs or alcohol, but rather by cell phones. According to the United States Department of Transportation, there are three main types of distractions while driving: Visual- taking one’s eyes off the road; Manual- taking one’s hands off the wheels; and Cognitive- taking one’s mind off what her or she is doing (“Statistics”). Now imagine all three of these dangerous distractions occurring at one time when cell phones are used while driving. Statistics shows that use of cell phones while driving increases the risk of traffic collisions, injuries, and fatalities. Numerous states across the country have enacted laws to ban cell phone use and texting while driving, but many have not. The driving force for the safety of our families, loved ones and nation depends on laws being created in every state to help regulate this unsafe habit.

Visual, Manual and Cognitive Distractions all play a key role in driver negligence. For example, the use of cell phones while driving may require a variety of different movements: searching for a phone in the vehicle, reaching for a phone to initiate or receive a call, dialing, texting, holding a phone near the ear while talking and driving, picking up a phone that has been dropped, and so forth. All of these actions distract drivers from concentrating on their main focus of driving safely. It only takes a split second for a mistake in judgment to be made, thus leading to an accident. The Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) reported, the proportion of fatalities reportedly associated with driver distraction increased from 10 percent in 2005 to 16 percent in 2009. During that time, fatal crashes with reported driver distraction also increased from 10 percent to 16 percent (“Statistics”). Cell phones have assisted society in adapting to living life on the go by helping; however, these useful devices can be fatal when used improperly or at the wrong time. Without laws to regulate their use while driving, the number of collisions, injuries and deaths shall also continue to increase.

“The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports 20 percent of injury crashes in 2009 involved reports of distracted driving. Of those killed in distracted-driving-related crashes, 995 involved reports of a cell phone distraction; 18% of fatalities in distraction-related crashes (“Statistics”). Due to the fear of being liable for insurance purposes or injuries sustained during a crash, many drivers are reluctant to report their use of a cell phone at the time of the accident, to the police. This creates a problem in calculating how many crashes are genuinely caused by drivers who are distracted by cell phones. Lately, the person seen running off the road and swerving might not be drunk, but on their cell phone. The University of Utah proved that, “Using a cell phone use while driving, whether it’s hand-held or hands-free, delays a driver's reactions as much as having a blood alcohol concentration at the legal limit of .08 percent (“Statistics qtd. in ________”). Such news is alarming and worrisome for anyone traveling on or near the roadways. Not only should fellows drivers be cautious, but pedestrians as well. Lives will constantly be put at stake without strictly enforced laws nationwide.

Florida falls behind in enacting laws regarding the use of cell phones while driving. Already, “34 states, the District of Columbia, and Guam ban text messaging for all drivers. Twelve of these laws were enacted in 2010 alone. 9 states, the District of Columbia, and the Virgin Islands prohibit all drivers from using handheld cell phones while driving (“Statistics). In October 2011 House Bill 299, “Florida Ban on Texting While Driving Law” was authorized. This bill reads:

Use of Wireless Communications Devices While Driving; Creates "Florida Ban on Texting While Driving Law"; Prohibits operation of motor vehicle while using wireless communications device for certain purposes; provides exceptions; specifies information that is admissible as evidence of violation; provides for enforcement as secondary action; provides for points to be assessed against driver’s license for unlawful use of wireless communications device resulting in crash (United States, Dept. of Transportation).

Unfortunately, this law will not be set into motion until October 2012. For many this is not soon enough; for other who have lost family or love ones, it is too late. Passing these laws have become a constant battle between society and lawmakers. Many believe these laws should not be passed because cell phones are no more dangerous than other distractions.

Banning cell phones while ignoring all the other road hazards that have existed long before is unfair and irrational. Consider for a moment the following factor: “An estimated 20 percent of 1,517,000 injury crashes were reported to have involved distracted driving in 2009 (“Statistics”). What exactly are these distractions? There are many other dangerous activities involving visual, manual and cognitive distractions happen on a daily basis, yet they are overlooked. A passenger or child can be just as much, if not more of a distraction, than a cell phone. Talking, horse play, or turning around to make sure a child has his or her toy or bottle can result in an accident; however, passengers and children are not banned from being in an automobile. Other distractions such as changing the radio station, configuring a GPS/Navigation system, smoking, and eating cause just as much interference with driving as a cell phone. Using a cell phone while driving does not always cause a risk, it can be beneficial to save lives in an emergency situation. Matt Sundeen, reported that drivers with cell phones place an estimated 98,000 emergency calls each day and that the phones “often reduce emergency response times and actually save lives (Sundeen).

Driving under the influence of cell phones is like playing a game of Russian roulette on the roadway. Who will be more focused on their cell phone instead of the road, and swerve into your lane causing a head-on collision? Cell phones distract their user’s hands, eyes and concentration. This is a dangerous addiction that lawmakers are trying to get under control. (not finished yet)

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ESSAY REVIEW

Here's what seems to be your thesis, the last sentence of the first paragraph: "The driving force for the safety of our families, loved ones and nation depends on laws being created in every state to help regulate this unsafe habit." I think the first three words are an unfortunate figure of speech, given the topic of the essay, but even in a different essay saying "the driving force .... depends on laws being created" would be a very peculiar thing to say, and in any case is a very vague way of articulating your argument.

Revise also the topic sentence (first sentence) of the second paragraph. It doesn't make sense to say that distraction play a role in negligence. If "negligence" were the right word, then you could say that negligence is the cause of distractions. But I wonder if you're not just muddying your point by introducing the question of negligence, which in any case is not the focus of the paragraph. The paragraph argues that distractions are dangerous not that they "play a role in negligence." Readers typically use topic sentences to anticipate the claims you will be advancing. Generally, it’s not a good idea to frustrate the expectations you have invited your reader to entertain.

The biggest problem with the essay, however, is that it lacks any clear organization, and that has a negative impact on the apparent coherence of the essay. In the middle of your essay, for example, you introduce out of the blue the question of Florida state law regarding the use of cell phones while driving. You have just been talking about the dangers of distracted driving. You need a transition to the question of regulation, and then a further transition to the specific question of the state of the law in Florida. (Transitions are statements that typically reflect on what has been said and anticipate what is to come; ideally, the clarify the relationship between the particular sentences of the coming paragraph and the overall argument of the essay.) Then, when you are done talking about Florida you move on, again without transition, to an argument that seems to go against everything that you have been arguing or implying up to this point. It's fine to consider alternative views to the one that you are espousing, but it's incoherent to present two mutually contradictory views as your own.

Best, EJ.

Submitted by: CrystalG35

Tagged...essay on distracted driving, essay writing help, research paper



Causes and Effects of Driving Distracted

The Dangers of Not Focusing While Driving a Car

Driving requires lots of focus and your full attention. Distracted driving affects all drivers from time to time and can come with stiff consequences. Unfocused driving does not affect all drivers the same. Some take more risks and pay less attention to road increasing their risk for disaster. Fully understanding what is at stake and how small distractions can affect your ability to drive could prevent a serious accident.

Causes of Distracted Driving

Anything can distract a driver. It is common for people to try and multitask while driving. It can range from obvious distractions such as crying or fighting kids in the back seat to eating lunch behind the wheel. Any task which takes your attention away from the road is considered a distraction. Even if your eyes are focused on the road while eating or drinking, shifting your food from hand to hand, looking down when you spill, or burning yourself on a hot cup of coffee could all take your attention away from the road just long enough to cause an accident.

Examples of Driving Distractions

  • Playing with the radio
  • Kids
  • Eating
  • Cell phones, talking and texting
  • Driving under the influence
  • Playing with a GPS

Really the list of driving distracted examples could go on and on. Some people even take it as far as shaving or applying makeup while driving. While it is impossible to outlaw all distracted driving, many states have created laws against the biggest offenders such as cell phone usage and driving under the influence.

Consequences of Distracted Driving

Distracted driving can be extremely dangerous and result in horrific accidents. The severity can range from minor vehicle damage all the way up to a totaled car and devastating injuries or possibly even fatalities. Each state has its own set of laws when it comes to distracted driving.

It is important to verify what the penalties in your state are so you can educate young drivers and be more aware yourself.

Cell Phone Usage: Banning cell phone usage is a newer law which has come about because of the high level of distraction from the devices and the amount of people using them. Some states ban all usage while others ban more specifically texting. Texting bans are now enforced in 39 states and it is expected to expand to all 50 states. Many experts compare using a cell phone while driving to drinking and driving due to the high level of distraction and the amount of time the driver's eyes are off the road. If you are caught using a cell phone in a way which is banned, you could potentially be pulled over and ticketed by a police officer. Fines vary and insurance carriers will likely see the violation and add a surcharge to your car insurance policy at your next policy renewal.

Driving While Under the Influence: The use of mind-altering substances such as alcohol, drugs, and even prescription medication is a form of distracted driving. These substances make it difficult to focus your attention on the road and even worse, alcohol makes you lose your inhibition. Drunk driving laws are severe in most states and include large fines and often driver's license suspension.

Again the law varies from state to state.

Car insurance will also be expensive and difficult to obtain once cited for driving under the influence. Your current car insurance carrier could potentially non-renew your car insurance policy. Car insurance carriers will classify you as a high-risk driver and charge much higher rates. It often takes five years to get back into good driver standings once a DUI is on your driving record.

People frequently drive distracted without any consequences. It seems to be a part of our everyday lives. It is the lack of awareness and the commonality of it which makes it so dangerous. Most people think it will never happen to them, until one day it does. It only takes a split second of distraction to create a lifetime of pain and suffering. Remember driving is a privilege and your decisions do not only affect you but other people on the road too.

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