Distracted driving is a leading cause to automobile fatalities. Distracted driving can range from talking, texting…to eating, and drinking…. This topic has been a debate issue between several experts and U.S. citizens. The Experts have different point of views. One of the experts feels that integrated devices will solve the issue. The second expert feels that law enforcement focus only on texting and driving but there are other driving distractions. The third expert simply says, “If you need to talk or text, simply pull over to the side of the road.” Although, most individuals might think he/she have it under control and can do it safer than other drivers on the road-research shows that even for the so call experts it’s dangerous. Distracted driving should be avoided as much-as possible. In the following dialogue each expert will give his/her point of view on distracted driving. Setting:
Located in a conference room at Berrien Springs High School is a room full of board members. Invited are three experts, one registered nurse, and a high school student parent. The discussion for today is, “the importance of distracted driving.” The room has a huge round oak wood table with charcoal colored mesh reclining chairs. At this table-are twelve board members facing an oak wood podium that sits in the middle of the room. Behind the podium are seated the guests, ready to give his/her input on distracted driving. Characters:
Should Drivers Be Banned From Talking And Texting While Driving? Mitch Bainwol: He is the President and CEO, Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers. Bainwol has dark brown hair, full lips, a long nose, and one lazy eye. Bainwol is married to Susan Bainwol. Together they bore three musically talented children. Bainwol strongly feels that integrated devices are the answers to decrease accidents caused by distracted driving. Rob Reynolds: Is the Executive Director, Focus Driven. Reynolds studied at the University of Teaxas at Austin, Texas Tech University, and Ambilene Christian University. Reynolds has brown sandy hair, grayish sideburns, blue eyes, flushed red cheeks, and a grayish beard to match his sideburns. Reynolds is all for driving without distractions. Reynolds clearly feels if it’s that important to talk on your phone while driving-you should pull over to a safe location. Paul C. Tetlock: Is a tall thin gentleman with brown hair, brown eyes, and a suit and tie guy. His interests are Financial Economics, and Public Economics.
Tetlock studied at The University of Texas at Austin. He received his PH.D- M.S. at the University Of Toronto- B.S. at University of Guelph. Tetlock understands that banning cell phone use while driving could decrease fatal accidents. Tetlock also feels that eating, changing a radio station, refereeing a sibling rivalry that is taking place in the back seat, and drinking double lattes can also be just as dangerous, as texting and talking while driving. Lonzo: A Registered Nurse at Lakeland Medical Center, St. Joseph, Michigan. Lonzo works in (CCU) Critical Care Unit. Lonzo is tall, dark skinned, athletic built and very handsome. Lonzo has been employed for several years and have witness many deaths due to distracted driving. Lonzo is definitely against driving distractions because he knows what it can lead to. Should Drivers Be Banned From Talking And Texting While Driving?
Shayla Kayzee: Is a single homosexual with a petite small frame, plump full size lips, and puffy cheeks. Shayla was born in Benton Harbor, MI. Shayla currently resides in Dorval, Quebec. Shayla enjoys face book, and modeling. Shayla has been severely scared after she witnessed her co-worker tragic accident while on the phone with her. Tequilla Jennings: A mother of two beautiful children. Tequilla is 5’ 2” tall, with dark brown hair, brown eyes, and a medium built frame. Tequilla’s Light skinned complexion lights up the board room when she enters. Tequilla is interested in exercising, dancing, and attending college to pursue her degree in Medical Office Systems. Tequilla feels that talking and texting have caused major accidents. Although, Tequilla struggles with the thought of banning talking while driving—texting should be banned in every state. Dialogue:
Tequilla Jennings: As a parent I feel that it is my job to educate my seventeen year old daughter about the importance of texting and driving. I feel that we should be able to talk and drive especially using a Bluetooth, earplugs, or some kind of hands-free device. However, texting requires you to use your hands, which should at all times remain on the steering wheel. Texting while driving is a serious issue among teenagers today. Most teenagers believe texting and driving can be done safely while driving without crashing. As parents, enlightening our kids on the dangerous act can save their lives. Lonzo Lamb: I agree Mrs. Jennings, in my line of work I witness the result of tragic accidents all the time. Just the other week I had a husband and a wife admitted to CCU, because they were driving down the road heading north when a college student crashed into them. The student was Should Drivers Be Banned From Talking And Texting While Driving? texting and didn’t pay attention to the stop light. The victims were hit head on. It was very sad because what the wife didn’t know that her husband was deceased. The wife was under sedation so that she could have a better recovery.
I am totally against texting and driving. I use earphones to communicate if I absolutely have to while driving. In most cases I will not answer my phone until I have completely stopped. It’s absurd to put yourself and others in harm’s way-all for a conversation. Paul Tetlock: To somewhat of a disagreement my opinion is not solely focused just on Texting and driving. It could be a number of distracted driving issues like eating, make-up, spouse disputes, and many more. I understand that law makers are focusing on texting and driving. “Legislators are listening. From Victoria, Australia, to Brooklyn, Ohio, total bans on cell phone calls by drivers have been enacted. England, Australia, Singapore and Brazil all restrict car phones to the hands-free type” (as cited in Glazer, 2001). “Does a ban make sense?” At first-blush, it seems a no-brainer if cell phones are indeed causing fatal accidents. “But lots of activities- tuning the radio, drinking double lattes, refereeing the sibling wars in the back seat-can lead to fatal crashes” (as cited in Glazer,2001). No one is banning these! Mitch Bainwol: You are absolutely right Mr. Tetlock!
Tequilla Jennings: Wait! Wait! Wait! I got it! If some of these manufacturing companies will manufacture devices- that will make talking more safer, drivers can look forward to safe traveling. It would be nice to incorporate more hands-free devices. All, I am saying is cellphones are indeed a great need in today’s world. I personally can’t live without mines. Should Drivers Be Banned From Talking And Texting While Driving? Mitch Bainwol: There is no debate about whether distracted driving is a concern. It is. The salient question is how best to ameliorate it in the real world where drivers demand connectivity- and with the prevalence of portable smartphones, they have it. “Technology has transformed our society forever. According to CTIA, The Wireless Association, at the end of 2011 there were 331.6 million wireless subscriber connections-more than the entire U.S. population” (as cited in Hosansky, 2012).We share Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood’s conviction that drivers should not use hand-held devices to communicate when driving.
Looking away from the road to dial, surf, text or navigate is dangerous. Research confirms that 80 percent of crashes involve the driver looking away from the roadway just prior to the crash. Rob Reynolds: The growing use of electronic devices built into car dashboards mostly grows out of studies that have found a greater risk from holding a cellphone and conversing over talking hands free. “Automakers use some of these studies to explain how adding hands-free texting, emailing, web surfing, social networking and talking apps into their infotainment systems make you safer” (as cited in Hosansky, 2012).However, these so-called naturalistic studies have inherent characteristics that make relying on their results as the basis for these assumptions problematic, at best. “The studies themselves rely on observation and measurement of physical data using vehicles rigged with expensive cameras and monitoring equipment in the hopes that events (crashes) and near events can be recorded and later examined in detail” (as cited in Hosansky, 2012).
Shayla Kayzee: Can I interrupt? I hear all that is being said. I agree with everything but when you are traumatized for life it changes my views. I will never text, or talk on the phone with Should Drivers Be Banned From Talking And Texting While Driving? anyone else while they are driving, “Never.” Last night I had the most unfortunate and God-awful experience of being on the phone with my coworker when she and her eight week old son were killed in a car accident! One min we’re laughing- I was talking and the next thing I hear is her screaming, “Oh my God, Oh my God”…. I heard a loud noise right before the phone went dead. I hung up (In a Panic) and called back 3 times, but got no answer. I immediately called her husband and told him what I heard; He said, “She was only going to the store near their home and coming right back.” After being silent he said, “Let me hang up and try to find out what’s going on, I’ll call you back.” I stayed up all night waiting to hear from him, but never did. Shayla steps out of the room. Lonzo Lamb: That is what I deal with from day to day, sad.
Tequilla Jennings: WOW! After hearing that story maybe, I will consider not even talking while driving. I guess it never hit close to home. I am in shocked right now! This is probably a debate that can go on forever because people will argue the facts. It’s up to me to make the decision if it’s a wise thing to do or not. Everyone is responsible for his/her actions. Let us here from one of the experts. “I’ll go check on Shayla.” Mitch Bainwol: “We can put our heads in the sand and demand a behavioral shift — as some policymakers advocate — or we can find ways to make communication in the car safe. Automakers are relying on integrated systems to operate as a safety filter, to channel driver behavior in a way that mitigates accident risk and saves lives” (as cited in Hosansky, 2012). Consumers are going to communicate; the only viable path to make that activity safe is to provide a technological answer that addresses the visual distraction. Built-in communications Should Drivers Be Banned From Talking And Texting While Driving? systems are that answer.
They rely on the cellphone passively and only for connectivity — so with the integrated system, you can lock that phone up in the glove box as you depart. Paul Tetlock: The benefits of a ban, of course, would include the decrease in injuries, property damage and fatalities. “Our best estimate is about 10,000 serious accidents and 100 traffic fatalities – less than 1 percent of the annual total” (as cited in Glazer, 2001). Using standard measures of how ordinary people make the tradeoff between convenience and small risks of large disasters, we estimate the cost of car phone-induced mayhem at about $1 billion annually. Fiddling with our assumptions- reducing the estimated benefits of car calls, raising the implicit value of lives saved-doesn’t change the bottom line. Nor, for that matter, does assuming that cell phone use is actually as dangerous as driving after drinking a few beers.
Thus, on balance, the safety purchased with a cell phone ban would simply be too expensive. Rob Reynolds: The majority of research on distractions with cellphones and smartphones has been done with epidemiological and lab research. “In fact, at least 30 studies put the increased risk of conversing on a cellphone while driving (handheld or hands-free) at four times the risk of driving alone” (as cited in Hosansky, 2012). All of this is being ignored by automakers in lieu of a select few studies that create a favorable argument for these applications. In addition, automakers have said that “drivers will use these apps anyway; we just want to make it safer” (as cited in Hosansky, 2012). I recall cigarette makers using similar arguments for adding filters to cigarettes (that doesn’t work either-the behavior is unsafe regardless).
Should Drivers Be Banned From Talking And Texting While Driving? Mitch Bainwol: “Whether it’s for communicating or listening to music or getting travel information, the objective of policymakers should be to encourage drivers to utilize the vehicle’s hard-wired system rather than looking away from the road to concentrate on a handheld’s small display screen-a screen never designed for use while driving”(as cited in Hosansky, 2012) In contrast—and by definition—auto displays, and other in-vehicle technologies, are designed from the very beginning to facilitate safe travel. They’re easier to read and less distracting-much like tuning a car radio. We know drivers are going to insist on staying connected behind the wheel. Our shared challenge is to construct policy and rely on technology that enables drivers to keep their eyes on the road and hands on the wheel. Welcome Back, Shayla! “I’m sorry to hear about your friend.” That is why we are here to educate our fellow students-to prevent these kinds of accidents.
Shayla: If I may, I would like to finish the story. After couple hours passed, I got a call from the boss of the place she and I worked. The boss had been contacted by Marcie’s husband-he was informed that My friend (Marcie) and her eight week old baby were killed in the accident. The baby died instantly on impact-Marcie suffered major trauma to her head and chest. Marcie died before the paramedics could get her to the hospital. I can’t say if Marcie and I conversation was the cause of death-but the conversation was not that important. It could have waited. I will never, ever hold a conversation with anyone else while they are driving! Cellphone use should be banned in my opinion. Rob Reynolds: “For the past few years, we’ve done what most jurisdictions do about distractions: we’ve bought advertising to raise awareness of the dangers of driving while distracted” (Focusdriven, 2012). We’ve had enforcement blitzes targeting drivers using handheld devices behind the wheel (which became illegal here in 2010).
We’ve held media events with a Should Drivers Be Banned From Talking And Texting While Driving? simulator that demonstrates the dangers of talking and texting while driving. We’d also run a video contest for young drivers, and a poster contest for high school students. These things – especially the enforcement campaigns – are having some effect: we’ve seen the five year average of fatalities resulting from distracted driving drop from 98 to 94 per year. For comparison, BC’s population is roughly that of South Carolina, although we comprise an area 1.5 times the size of Texas. Although we are making some progress, we wanted to do more – in fact, we needed to, as smart phones and other distracting technologies are becoming more prevalent by the day. Something needs to be done to disrupt that conditioned response of: it rings, I answer. And so, we landed on the ringtones: some of them were urging drivers to let the call go to voicemail, others saying, “play hard to text.”
Paul Tetlock: But until we know more, governments should let the 77 million Americans who own cellular phones make their own decisions about when to use them. The market, in the form of consumers, producers and insurers, is doing pretty well in developing a technology that Americans are finding they can’t live without. Mitch Bainwol: We know drivers are going to insist on staying connected behind the wheel. Our shared challenge is to construct policy and rely on technology that enables drivers to keep their eyes on the road and hands on the wheel. Tequilla Jennings: I hope the board members of this fine high school-have gathered enough information to relay to the students. I for one was very touched and inspired by Shayla’s story and I feel it should be shared abroad. As we know citizens will continue to make their own
Should Drivers Be Banned From Talking And Texting While Driving? decisions whether it is dangerous to use cellphones while driving, or not. It’s up to me to make a change and a difference for my beliefs. Thank you all for sharing your knowledge!