November 8th, 2008
Today, more than ever, personal safety on our roads is a cause for concern. Education standards for driving have not changed, but the technologies that enable us to access our home, work and families from the confines of our car are the very things that put us in peril. This is due to the potentially fatal distractions of mobile phones and their ability to be used for text messaging. Despite legal measures being enforced in various forms globally, the use of phones or Personal Digital Assistants (PDA’s) for texting whilst driving continues to rise and currently shows no signs of abatement. Greater penalties are required to curtail this activity and make the roads safer for everyone.
The modern driver is a multi-tasker and most likely has a mobile phone or PDA. In a survey conducted in the United Kingdom (UK), 37% admitted to texting whilst driving. (Robinson, 2008). Commuting(to a greater or lesser degree) is a major part of most people’s day and the amount of time we spend sitting in traffic within the confines of our cars has motivated people to use this time answering and responding to messages. Voice communication has been in existence for some time. Text messaging has of late become a favored form of electronic communication that can take place at any time and this has extended to whilst driving. Texting is favored particularly by those under the age of 25, who have used it for a lot of their social networking. Their skills, at texting, for the most part, far exceed the abilities of those of the older generation which is often the inverse of their driving abilities. Technology has made a considerable impact on the activities that we experience whilst we are driving, but like anything else, they are all major distractions and impact our reaction times.
While many states within the US and countries beyond it, have passed legislation to limit the use of mobile phones to hands free, it is not a worldwide policy and is difficult to fully...