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Talking on the Cell Phone While Driving Is Not like Drunk Driving

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Essay title: Talking on the Cell Phone While Driving Is Not like Drunk Driving

Cellular phones, for most people today, are a necessity in our lives. People take their phones everywhere they go. These days, phones have gotten even more complex and we use them as a means for communication by voice, text, sound, and video. Because cell phones are considered such a necessity by many people today, the issue has risen regarding the use of phones while driving. These days cell phone use while driving is being compared to driving while being drunk. There are good reasons why people have made it a big issue today, but cell phone use while driving is not like drunk driving. There are big differences between the two, and this belief should not be used as a basis for prohibiting cell phone use while driving.

It is obvious by common sense and by actual studies, that talking on the cell phone while driving is a distraction to the driver’s complete attention of the road and surroundings. This is where the big difference of drunk driving and talking on the phone is most relevant. Talking while on the phone is an avoidable distraction. Drunk driving is not a distraction but rather a situation that impairs a person’s judgment because it slows down your brain which then effects your concentration and coordination (Wart, 2006). With alcohol, the driving ability to steer your car while responding to changes in traffic can be impaired with even small amounts of alcohol in your system (Wart, 2006). It is known that alcohol is considered a depressant which explains why it effects concentration and coordination and also why people experience a feeling of letting go and relaxing (Brown University, 2005). This type of feeling is not a safe situation while driving, because a relaxed feeling may show through the driver’s performance on the road. Once a drunk driver gets on the road, the danger does not go away because this impairment is internal, and cannot just go away at specific times. Talking on the phone is something which does distract, but does not impair the driver to where one could not stop talking or put one on hold in a time at a specific time.

Just as there is a higher risk of accidents with new inexperienced drivers on the road, is there a higher risk of people talking on the phone. Young drivers are more accident prone because they have not had as much experience as other drivers. This is not saying that people who have been driving longer are always better drivers, but with practice people get better at what they are doing. In a study conducted by researchers at Miami University in Ohio, it was found that some are just clearly better at multitasking than others and also that signs of impairment may diminish with practice (Consumer Reports, 2006). This basically means that the risk varies from each individual because some people are better at doing more than one thing at once, and some people may experience less of a distraction while talking on the phone if it is a regular habit. It is not sensible to say some people can drive drunk and multitask better than others because alcohol directly affects one internally in the body. From interaction with people, some claim to still be able to maintain focus and coordination while driving and being drunk but this claim is not based on actual studies so that most likely is more of an issue of luck and chance.

This is not to say that cell phone use does not impair driving, but rather that the distraction that comes from talking on the cell phone is comparable to that of many other distractions

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