Cell phones have completely revoluationized the way people do things. Rather than being tied to an office or a home phone, people can go about their lives and be reached almost anywhere. As long as you have reception, you have a lifeline to the outside world. Cell phones have become a convenient and nearly indispensable way to communicate. In some cases, they may be too convenient.
Numerous studies and articles point to the dangers of cell phone use while driving. Motorists who use cell phones tend to be more distracted and less aware of the traffic conditions surrounding them. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration indicates that cell phone use impairs a driver’s ability to operate his or her vehicle safely. Even hands-free devices fail to eliminate the problem: the cognitive distraction of carrying on a conversation still creates a dangerous situation.
Many communities have decided to limit or ban the use of cell phones while driving. In Michigan, the Detroit City Council voted to ban cell phone use while driving in 2006. Last month, Detroit took another step in that direction as it banned text messaging behind the wheel. Five states and the District of Columbia either currently have bans or will have bans take effect this year. Two states specifically prohibit text messaging.
Cell phones are just one source of distraction. Drivers should use care and focus their undivided attention on the roadway. Fewer distracted drivers will keep the highways safe for Michigan drivers.