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Use Cellular Phone While Driving

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					According to the wireless industry¡¦s trade association, Cellular Communications & Internet Association, there are over 135 mil




                                                   Use Cellular Phone While Driving



                                                                                          By Shu-Min Li
                                                                                            Engr 301




    Cellular phone is a wireless and hand-held device that is well known to the public. It is very
    common to have a cellular phone now a day since cell phone was introduced to the United States in
    1983. According to the wireless industry¡¦s trade association, Cellular Communications & Internet
    Association, there are over 135 million subscribers in the United States at the time of this writing. It
    estimates that there will be over 200 million cellular phone subscribers in world wide by the year of
    2005.




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                                                                    ¹Ïªí 1 Number of Cellular Phone Subscribers


    The use of cellular phone has skyrocketed since low-price phones and services plans became widely
    available to the general public in the recent years. As cellular phone is getting more and more
    popular among us, the way of how people communicate has been changed quite a bit. This increase
    of cell phone users has been accompanied by an increase in the number of people talking on the
    phone concurrently with driving. For instance, according to David Strayer and William Johnston,
    recent surveys indicate that 85% of cell phone owners use their phone at least occasionally while
    driving, and 27% report using their phones on half of their trips. reference?

    Is it dangerous to talk on a cellular phone when someone is driving? This issue is still being debated
    all over the world. We all have seen people talking on their cell phone and driving at the same time.
    Can they really do that talking in the phone and being concentrated on driving? Can a phone
    conversation be dangerous while driving? There are some governments looking at this safety
    problem and some of governments even have set some restrictions to use cell phone as driving.
    According to Tenisha Mercer,

                   Brooklyn Heights, Ohio, was the first municipality in the United States to make it a traffic
                   violation to drive and talk on a cell phone in March 1999. The law allows for a rare
                   exception: when a call is made in the case of an actual emergency. Marlborough Township,
                   New Jersey, also enacted a similar ban during the summer of 2000, according to ZDNet
                   News, an Internet news provider. Other small cities have attempted to enact similar bans,
                   while big the city of Chicago is considering a $25 to $100 fine if a cell phone is found to have
                   contributed to an accident. reference?
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    Besides the places that are mentioned above, cellular phones have been banned in New York State as
    the vehicle is in motion. According to some web site information in the internet,
           the Governor of New York has signed a bill which becomes law on November 1st, 2001, that
           will outlaw the use of a hand-held cellular phone, only hands-free will be allowed (except for
           emergencies). There will be a one month grace period where the police will just issue
           warnings. If someone does get cited, and produces a receipt that they have bought a hands-
           free kit for the car, the case will be dismissible until April 2002. reference?

    In worldwide, the following countries have banned or restricted the use of a cellular phone while
    driving a vehicle:
           Australia, Spain, Israel, Portugal, Italy, Brazil, Chile Switzerland, Great Britain, Singapore,
           Taiwan, Japan, Turkey Slovenia, Czech Republic, Netherlands, Romania, Greece Denmark,
           Austria, Germany

    As safety issue of hand-held cell phone is getting hot, the cellular phone manufacturers are
    improving the ease of use features to drivers. Manufacturers of cellular accessories have specifically
    focused on safety in their products. There are more and more safe related features implemented into
    cellular phone. For example, voice recognition, head set, headphone and etc. What are these features
    and how do they work?

            First of all, let¡¦s look at the voice recognition feature. It transfers a person¡¦s voice (analog
    signal) as saying a specific name into digital format and stores it in cellular phone¡¦s memory. When
    the person repeats the same name with the same voice later on, it¡¦d search its database and compare
    with the existing information. If the data match, then it retreats the phone number from the memory
    and auto dial the pre-stored phone number accordingly. It sounds like a pretty good way to avoid
    punching numbers on the phone and getting distracted from the road. Indeed, when a person uses
    the voice recognition feature, s/he needs to activate the feature first. In most cases, s/he has to press
    one of the buttons down for couple of seconds to activate it. If a person¡¦s voice has changed a bit
    due to whatever reason, the phone won¡¦t automatically dial the number that s/he would like to since
    the recorded voice is different. Some people would become frustrated and get more distracted.

    There are many people think that it¡¦s safe to use hand-free device while driving. Is it true? Indeed,
    there are some studies indicate that using head set or headphone could be 20 times worst to our
    human brains than using a hand-held cell phone. Laws to ban cell phones while driving are gaining
    industry support. The largest U.S. cellular telephone provider, Verizon, recently agreed to support
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    laws that would ban hand-held cell phone use while driving. A 1997 study by the National Highway
    Traffic Safety Administration found drivers' cellular phone use contributed to 57 fatal crashes in
    1997, the most recent year data is available. Additionally, at least one study has compared driving
    while talking on a cellular phone to driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
     Researchers at the University of Toronto found that the risk of having a traffic accident while using
    a cellular phone is the same as that while driving drunk. Their findings were published 2/13/97, in
    the New England Journal of Medicine.
       This is very scary. Many people might believe that using headphone or head set having
      conversation on the phone is similar to listen to radio. No, this is wrong. In figure 2 and figure 3,
      they have shown that dual tasking (listening and talking) is more risky than single tasking (listening
      only). The first two columns of each following figures are cellular phone users, and the last two
      columns are radio listeners and talking to passenger.



                                                                                                                                  I am not sure I understand
                                                                                                                                  figures 2 & 3. I went back
                                                                                                                                  to the website to see what
                                                                                                                                  they really looked like, and
                                                                                                                                  I am still confused. It
                                                                                                                                  seems that cell phone
                                                                                                                                  users are safer than
                                                                                                                                  listening to the radio and
                                                                                                                                  talking to a passenger.
                                                                                                                                  ???




                                                              ¹Ïªí 2 Use Cellular Phone vs. Listening to Radio (1)




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                                                              ¹Ïªí 3 Use Cellular Phone vs. Listening to Radio (2)


    When most people think hand-free device is safe to use, the following passage is worth to read and
    understand:
           There are lots of distractions which cause car crashes, but there are already laws against
           taking your eyes off the road to change the radio station, drink something, eat something,
           read, put on your make-up, shave, etc!! When talking on a cell phone......its the talking that
           gets people hurt or killed, not that something is in their hand!! reference?

    In order to provide more evidences to prove that using cellular phone while driving is dangerous, I
    have copied a really case from Marjorie Lundquist, Ph.D., C.I.H. Attached is an email that shows
    how a person becomes virtually blind to his surrounding.

    Subject: Use of cellular phone while driving: a columnist "eats crow"
    Date: 20 Jul 00 07:42:51 PDT
    From: marjlundquist@address.com
    To: guru@emfguru.com

    Eric Zorn writes a regular column in the Chicago Tribune. His column of this date -- July 20, 2000 -- is headlined "It's
    ringing in his ears: Don't drone and drive". Excerpts from his column follow (between dashed lines).
    --------------
    My conversion occurred on the road to the Dan Ryan--West 87th Street at Cicero Avenue, to be precise.
    I saw the light shortly after a voice said unto me, "OK, bye."
    I hung up the cell phone and snapped back to Earth. Cicero? What happened to Ridgeland? Hmm. Had I clipped any
    small children or laggard pedestrians since the phone rang back at Harlem? I turned on the all-news radio station to
    check for reports of a hit-and-run incident.

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    Late last year, when Ald. Burton Natarus (42nd) proposed a partial ban on use of cellular phones in moving vehicles, I
    was one of those who spoke out against the idea, telling Natarus during a televised debate that catching up on telephone
    calls while driving was an important and benign form of multi-tasking....
    But ever since he brought it up, I've been paying increased attention to my inattention behind the wheel when I'm on
    the phone. And after months of denial and excuses, I finally came clean with myself last week when I realized I'd just
    been in a trance for a mile and a half as I somehow steered a deadly weapon through an obstacle course of lights,
    people, cars and trucks and perhaps animals and bicycles, I couldn't tell you....
    Here's the gospel truth: Talking on the phone is distracting on a whole different level than conversing with a passenger,
    dining or listening to the radio. Research shows slowed reaction time and diminished awareness of surroundings--an
    equivalent impairment, according to one study, to being legally drunk....
    The actual holding of the phone and dialing of a number is minor compared to the cognitive distraction of a phone
    conversation. Accordingly, my problem now with Natarus' proposal ... is that it doesn't go far enough.
    ... If we underestimate the potential risks to highway traffic safety and do not moderate drivers' use of in-vehicle
    systems, the price may be very steep indeed ...
    Go ahead and deny it because you love the convenience and you're not scattered like other people and the government
    is not your mommy. I did.
    Now I'm going out to try another experiment: Can I eat crow and drive at the same time?
    --------------
    My own review of the available evidence has shown that using a cellular phone while driving -- the type with the
    antenna in the handset -- does indeed produce an effect on the brain of the driver that is very similar to the effect of
    alcohol. Having a conversation with another person in the car, eating, listening to the radio, changing radio stations,
    dialing a number -- all these tasks can be distracting when performed by a driver, but they don't destroy the driver's
    mental ability to pay attention to the task of driving, the way use of a cellular phone while driving does. The direct
    effect of microwave radiation on the brain seems to be responsible for producing an alcohol-like brain dysfunction.
    In theory, using a cellular phone while driving would be no more hazardous than any of the other tasks I listed above, if
    there were no transmitting microwave antenna beside the head while the phone is in use. I have a friend who carries a
    cellular phone around with him; but when he drives, he places it in a cradle on the vehicle dashboard, about 18 inches
    away, that connects it to a speaker. He can then make and receive calls on it while driving, while keeping the antenna
    away from his head. I've seen no published studies comparing this manner of use of a cellular phone with the more
    usual manner, but there is every reason to expect that using a cellular phone is no more distracting than talking to
    someone else in the same vehicle, so long as that transmitting microwave antenna is not beside the driver's head. --
    Marjorie
    *********************************
    Marjorie Lundquist, Ph.D., C.I.H.
    Bioelectromagnetic Hygienist
    *********************************

    Some people love to talk on their cellular phone while driving, because they think this is a time
    saving issue. According to some information in internet, there is a study shows that cell phone users
    four to five hundred percent more likely to get into traffic accidents than those who do not use them.
     ¡§Telephones that allowed the hands to be free did not appear to be safer than hand-held
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    telephones,¡¨ the study said. ¡§This may indicate that the main factor in most motor vehicle
    collisions is a driver's limitations in attention rather than dexterity.¡¨ An editorial by Malcolm
    Maclure of the Harvard School of Public Health and Murray Mittleman of Beth Israel Deaconess
    Medical Center in Boston said the research was the first direct evidence that the use of cellular
    telephones in cars contributes to roadway collisions. reference?

            There is a study used 13 months of accident data and phone records of 699 people to track the
    actual time of the accident and the phone call usage. They also made some statistical adjustments for
    driving habits.
         l    The risk of an accident was nearly five times higher than normal when a person was on the
         telephone one minute or five minutes before the accident. The typical call in the study lasted
         nearly 2 1/2 minutes.
         l    The collision rate was four times higher than expected when the call was made less than 15
         minutes before the accident.
         l    Only after the driver had been off the phone for more than 15 minutes did the risk seem to
         dissipate.
         l    Younger and older drivers with a cell phone face the same risk.
         l    "Subjects with many years of experience in using a cellular telephone still had a significant
         increase in risk," but the highest risk was among people who had not graduated from high
         school.

    There are some advices for every cellular phone user. Don¡¦t wait for the government ban the
    cellular phone while driving. We should do our best to prevent accidence to happen.

              l    You nee to pay 100% of your attention to other drivers who are using cellular phone while
              driving. When you see someone who is very excited and weaving his/her hands widely, s/he is
              not drunk but talking on a cell phone.
              l     You never take your eyes off the road to dial or answer your cellular phone when driving.
              l    Don¡¦t talk on your cellular phone when you are on the road unless there is an emergency
              occurred. Turn off your phone when you are in your car if it is possible.

      References:
    David L. Strayer and William A. Johnston (2001). Driven to Distraction: Dual-Task Studies of
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    Simulated Driving and Conversing on a Cellular Telephone Psychological Science, Nov2001, Vol.
    12 Issue 6, p462

    http://www.womanmotorist.com/ftrs/tm-cell-phones-and-driving-2k1-01.shtml 2/19/2003

    http://www.mrtraffic.com/cellular.htm 2/19/2003

    http://www.wave-guide.org/archives/emf-l/Jul2000/Use-of-cellular-phone-while-driving--a-
    columnist--eats-crow--.html
    2/17/2003

    Dr. Robert Goldman and Dr. Ronald Klatz (2002): Cellular Phones/RF Radiation Medial Menaes of
    a Modern Day Convenience


                   This is a great topic to address, however you have not done justice to it. The topic of handed vs hands free use of a
                   cell phone in a vehicle is documented but never really debated. There are never any ethical issues discussed.
                   What is a person's moral obligation when using a cell phone while driving? (This IS an ethics class!)
                   The last paragraph, and it's 3 bulleted items, is the only real comment made about whether or not to use a cell phone
                   while driving.
                   The quote by Marjorie Lundquist seems out of place. There is no further discussion of the effects of radiation from
                   cell phone use. Is she correct, or is she mistaken?
                   You never cite any of your references, so I have no idea where the various pieces of information come from.
                   Overall, this is not very well done. I expect MUCH more from my graduate students than the undergraduates, and
                   your paper falls FAR short if my expectations.
                   Grade H-88, C-75, R-80




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