|Persuasive Essay—Cell phones and driving Trenton Albrecht
Balancing my coffee on my left leg, eating a donut with my right hand, using my cell phone with my left hand, driving with my right knee and having a conversation with a friend at the same time are surprisingly enough all legal, as long as they don’t interfere with my driving. While all these distractions can potentially interfere with my driving, the one most people often notice is the use of cell phones. Although using cell phones while driving can potentially cause disaster, they should not be outlawed by itself.
Many issues exist regarding how distracting a cell phone is when used while driving. Cell phones are a major distraction. In fact, the United States has over 115 million cell-phone users (“N.Y. Passes Phone”). Moreover, the risk of getting in an accident with a cell phone is nearly five times greater (“N.Y. Passes Phone”). However, cell phones are not the only distraction. Many other distractions exist. Some of these distractions include changing clothes, eating food, applying makeup, reading a book and changing the radio. Moreover, all of these distractions can be as dangerous as using a cell phone.
Both good and bad things happen as a result of driving while using a cell phone. For one, it is a major cause of accidents. “A 1997 study in the New England Journal of Medicine said the handheld phones posed about as much of a problem for drivers as drunken driving” (“N.Y. Passes Phone”). In addition, cell phones are said to be the second-leading cause of accidents involving motor vehicles (“N.Y. Passes Phone”). Even in light of this, though, using a cell phone while driving is not that bad. Many statistics are only projecting what will happen and don’t look at what is currently happening. "A new federal analysis of 1997 crash data by the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration estimated that cellular phones were a factor in only 57 deaths” (“Why We Should”). On top of this, “according to the Department of Transportation, of the 131,348 total accidents recorded, cell phones were a contributing factor in 633, or .5 percent” (Earle, Rick). In comparison, other distractions result in 8% of accidents. Although cell phones have their bad sides, they are also used for over eighteen-million emergency calls per year, many by drivers trying to get help to the crash scene (“Why We Should”).
Cell-phone use while driving can be solved in many ways without outlawing it by itself. For one, the results of it are already being outlawed. This includes reckless driving, which can be a side effect of using a cell phone irresponsibly. Even so, a driver has many ways to help himself from driving recklessly due to cell phones. One way is by using a hands-free set for his cell phone so that both hands can be on the wheel at all times, and using the cell phone would be like driving and talking with a friend. However, if a law must be enacted to help stop this reckless driving, the law should not specifically target cell phones. Rather than encompass a small portion of the problem, cell phones, the government could enact a broad plan to help prevent all types of distractions from causing bad driving.
In short, using a cell phone while driving should not be outlawed by itself. Cell-phone use is not the only distraction drivers have. Many distractions are constantly around the driver besides his cell phone. Moreover, cell-phone use is not significant enough to be the sole target of a law banning it. Several solutions also exist to help solve this problem without outlawing it or specifically targeting it. Clearly, many states have already outlawed it without looking at the facts and seeing that the true problem does not lie solely in cell phones, but needs to be dealt with as part of a larger set of problems.
Persuasive Essay—Outline Trenton Albrecht
Thesis: Using a cell phone while driving should not be outlawed by itself.
Cell phones are a major distraction
115 million users
Four to five times more likely to get in an accident
Many other distractions
Putting on makeup
Reading a book
Results of cell-phone use
Major cause of accidents
Using them could be as bad as drunk driving
Second leading cause of accidents
Not actually that bad
Cell phones are actually only minor
57 deaths in 1997
Only .5% of accidents
Other distractions result in about 8% of accidents
18 million emergency calls per year
Other possibilities for helping
Results of distractions already outlawed (reckless driving)
Driver can help prevent accidents (hands-free set for cell phone)
Laws need to more broadly ban distractions
Earle, Rick. “Are Cell Phones Driving Distractions?” Wpxi.com. 18 Nov. 2003. 6 May 2004 .
“N.Y. Passes Phone-Driving Bill.” Wired News. 26 June 2001. 6 May 2004 .
“Why We Should Say "Cell No!" to New Laws Banning Cell Phone Use in Cars.” Libertarian Party. 5 Mar. 2001. 6 May 2004 .