- May 12, 2020
Distracted driving risk
Debilitatedlaws and regulations have always prevented proper repercussions forcareless driving which have resulted in an increase in the number ofaccidents which threaten not only the distracted drivers but also thepassengers and other pedestrians. Driverdistraction and inattention contribute a significant percentage ofmost road crashes. Distraction is influenced by various activities,events or obstacles within the vehicle. Cell phones enhancecommunication and business transactions but its use while driving hasbecome a major concern for road safety (Graham,2013).Over70% of all deaths in most nations originate from road accidents.About half of these cases have been contributed by the use of mobilephones which cause disruption in two significant ways physically andin cognitive dimension.
Physicalinterference occurs when the driver has to operate his or her phoneconcurrently and to drive his or her vehicle. Cognitive distractionhappens when the driver has to switch part of his or her attention tocell phone conversation. On the other hand, one`s ability to performtwo or more activities is restrained. It is, therefore, clear thatusing the mobile phone while driving can adversely affect road safetynegatively.
Operatingcell phone while driving can be referred as multitasking. This leadsto a brain drain as this siphons brain resources. Many drivers valuethe use of mobile phones because they think it boosts productivitythus influencing their temptation to use the gadget while behind thewheel. Most drivers may believe that they are multitasking, but thetruth of the matter is that brain cannot perform two task at the sametime. Instead, brain functions consecutively, that is one functionleads to the other (Shutko,&Tijerina, 2011).
Aboutthis view, drivers can acquire inattention blindness due to a deepconversation over the phone. For instance, the driver may not see thegreen light since he/she is temporary visually impaired. This poses adanger to other road users as they caneasilybeinvolved in a road crash. The drivers who use the phones whiledriving, their attention may be withdrawn from the visual scene thusrisks causing an accident.
Similarly,physical distraction while driving is also a road safety threat asthe driver cannot manage to hold the phone (dialing, holding orreceiving), and at the same time driving. This is likely to make thedriver lose focus, hence leading to accidents.
Generally,from the above illustrations, it is evidently clear that use of cellphone while driving is major challenge and threat to all road users.Moreover, it turns out that distracted driving is a burden to thestate at large and needs to be addressed with utmost sobriety by therelevant authorities. The nation cannot afford to lose lives throughdeaths that can be prevented.
Graham,S. (2013) Brainactivity during driving with distraction an immersive fMRI study.Frontiers in Human Neuroscience. 7(53):1-11
Shutko,J. and Tijerina, L., (2011), Ford`sApproach to Managing Driver Attention: SYNC and MyFord Touch,Ergonomics in Design, Vol. 19, No. 4, October 2011, pp. 13-16