In today’s society, most people communicate using of cell phones. Just 15 to 20 years ago, cell phones were a rarity for the average person. The average income person could not afford a cell phone. Today, cell phones are affordable and the majority of people own them. The days of waiting until you are home to use a telephone or searching for a pay phone if you are out are long gone. In fact, pay phones are being removed, which increases the need for a cell phone. The government will provide a cell phone with limited monthly service for those that are low income and meet certain criteria.
The cell phone has also created people to feel the need to be accessible to constant communication. The major problem lies with cell phone use while driving, which presents a constant danger on the road. In many instances, it is a deadly danger. Based on my experience and experiences of those I know, I believe that law should ban all cell phone use. Laws have passed recently restricting the use to a hands free device while driving. I feel this is a good move in the right direction however; a hands free device can be equally as distraction.
Some claim the distraction is no different from changing a radio station or taking a sip of your beverage. I do not believe this claim to be true. I cannot count the number of times I have witnessed a driver using their cell phone, not giving their full attention to the traffic. I have witnessed drivers pull out directly in front of on coming vehicles barely avoiding an accident. My adult children are prime examples of this practice. I have been a passenger with them while they take a call or look at a text message.
During the conversation or glancing at the text message; they have crossed the centerline, weaved over onto the shoulder of the road, and swerved within their lane. I fear for their safety, others safety, and my own. Many feel the use of a hands free device is safer. In many ways, it is safer but still is a major distraction. A friend of my son was in a deadly accident while using his hands free device. He was riding his motorcycle and having a conversation on his “Bluetooth”. He was speaking to a friend and told them he was going to pass a trash truck.
He was traveling on a single lane roadway. While passing at a high rate of speed he lost control. The friend heard what was happening. The young man was thrown over the front of the motorcycle landing on his head. His neck was broken. He was paralyzed from the head down and was only able to mouth words as his larynx was paralyzed. He was mouthing the words, “let me go”. After a year, his parents made the agonizing decision to remove him from the ventilator. He died shortly after at the young age of 22.
I cannot help but wonder had he not been talking on the phone would he have made a better decision about passing the trash truck. Most people feel these horrors cannot happen to them. Driving any vehicle requires full attention. I believe that using a cell phone can be as impairing as driving while under the influence of alcohol. Many laws have passed in Maryland and nationwide concerning the issue. I feel the laws are necessary and should go a stop further with a full ban. A full ban would save many lives across the state and the nation.