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Although some states and cities have passed laws to ban texting and using handheld phones while driving, there is no current law to ban all cell phone use while driving. However, according to the National Safety Council (2009), 28 percent of all crashes—1.6 million per year—are caused by cell phone use and texting by drivers. The mission of a new national nonprofit organization called FocusDriven, patterned after Mothers Against Drunk Driving, is to make phone use while driving as illegal and socially unacceptable as drunk driving. US Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood supports FocusDriven and its efforts: According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, LaHood said this movement will become "an army of people traveling the countryside" to push for bans on cell phone use and tough enforcement (Schmit, 2010).

As a political advocate interested in this issue, you will be writing a policy proposal that utilizes the current research to propose a solution to the issue and submit it in this assignment

Please note that your proposal is not an opinion/position paper, and your conclusions need to be based on the scientific research you reviewed earlier. Please follow the typical steps in proper academic writing (planning, outlining, drafting, revising, proofing, and editing) to generate the following proposal structure:

In the introduction, you should set up the purpose for the proposal, provide a bit of background on the topic, and present your thesis.

Now that you have researched a variety of studies , compile that information together to create a recommendation for policy makers regarding cell phone use while driving.

1: In a one-page summary, compare and contrast the results of the various studies regarding the cognitive abilities that are affected during cell phone use while driving.

2: Using that research, develop and explain particular recommendations for policy makers. For instance, restrict texting, or regulate the use of hand-held phones. All your recommendations must be supported by your research findings.

3: Based on the gaps in current research, describe the variables, populations, and situations which you would like to see future research address.

Conclusion

Review the important current research, your conclusions from that research, and how the future could look in both policy and research. Keep your goal in mind: To convince the reader to support your current policy proposal and future research to examine this issue more closely.

Policy Proposal

Distracted driving has been an issue for so long and increasing rapidly along with the growth of mobile phones’ usage and other communication devices. Distracted driving mainly includes the activity which diverts the attention of the drivers from their primary task of driving. The usage of electronic devices like smart phones, tabs and others can be particularly dangerous as those devices require cognitive, auditory, visual attention and often some sort of manual attention. Studies, data and safety research have revealed the fact that the usage of the electronic devices for telecommunications can distract the drivers from their primary task of driving to a huge extent. The purpose of the report is to discuss about the crash risks which increases dramatically, when a driver uses a cell phone while driving.

According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (2013), cell phones might be a convenient mode of communication, but there is one place which seems to be more harm than of good. That is behind the steering wheel. Several researches have shown that the drivers, who use cell phones while driving, get severely affected as their attention on the road drops and the driving skills become worse. Their cognitive abilities get affected, which is even worse than drinking and driving. The epidemiological researches on this topic have revealed the fact that cell phone is very much associated with accidental risks. On the contrary, Lee, Champagne & Francescutti (2013) mentioned that due to the level of cognitive distractions caused by these devices, the drivers’ behaviors are at times, equivalent to the behaviors of the drunk drivers.

As per Zhou & Curry (2012) opinion, mobile phones are not the only cause for concern. There are hosts of emerging devices and technologies, which are more engaging as well as time consuming in the car technologies. These devices include the navigational displays, internet browsers and others which are presenting new challenges for the drivers, everyday. The human factors engineers and cognitive psychologists are teaming together to document the adverse effects of these gadgets on traffic safety and driving performance. Olsen, Shults & Eaton (2013) have been studying about impact of cell phones on driving for more than four years. Several studies have suggested the fact that the cell phone conversations disrupt the driving performances of the drivers. Moreover, human attention has limited capacity and talking over phones can cause a sort of inattention blindness among the drivers.

Recommendations for the policy makers

As per Sanbonmatsu et al. (2013) opinion, it is important to inform the motorists regarding the risks of driving using cellular phones. The policy makers need to get a better knowledge of the risks and require conducting a scientific research program. The government and the policy makers need to develop a jointly funded program for conveying the risks of using cellular phones while driving. In the countries, where the usage of cellular phones and hand held phones are restricted, adequate data should be collected regarding cognitive behavioral changes as well as technological shifts. Along with this, mandatory safety belts’ usage legislation must be passed, as it plays an important role in the international traffic laws. The policy makers should restrict the usage of mobile phones or hand held phones while driving and regulate it.

Gill, Kamath & Gill (2012) opined that issuing a new policy regarding the usage of mobile phones and implementing it can take a long process and years of work. However, when it comes to communicating the message successfully, several campaigns or educational programs can be organized and marketing goes hand in hand. A well developed plan must start with initial information being pushed to the drivers. This includes consistent and continuous messaging presented via several media channels in order to reach as many people as possible. In addition to this, online classes can also be held along with some videos, website promotions, handouts, give-away items, public speakers, usage of celebrities regarding this issue, meetings and social media promotion.

It will prove to be beneficial to hold campaigns as gaining an understanding of the advantages of not using mobile devices while driving can lead to self responsibility among the drivers. Moreover, enforcing continuous education regarding this factor can also help in restricting the usage of cellular phones. Nevertheless, the agencies must employ various methods of observations along with the options ranging from peer reviews to cameras fitted inside the car. In addition to this, the management can also observe the crews by riding along with them or watching from a separate vehicle (Leung et al., 2012). These methods can prove to be beneficial for the implementation of the policies. Furthermore, it can also help in reducing the road risks and accidents.

In modern days, it is highly unusual for the individuals to not own a cell phone or an in-vehicle electronic device. There are several technologies to disable the devices, while the cars are in motion. However, they are not being used commonly, by the general public in modern times. The car drivers can easily switch off their mobile phones or keep them on silent mode while driving, but majority of them hate doing this (Schlesener & Mauer, 2015). In addition to this, there are several engineering approaches to reduce the distracted driving but currently there are no strict regulations regarding this. Therefore, based on the research gaps, populations and situations further research can be conducted on this regarding the implementation of strict regulations regarding driving.

Conclusion

To conclude, adequate measures and steps must be taken regarding road safety. Policy makers need to implement certain policies of not using mobile phones, while driving. However, implementation of policies usually takes longer time. Therefore, proper marketing strategies can be initiated regarding public safety. Marketing campaigns can be organized, where the drivers must be given education on disadvantages of talking and driving. Moreover, the policy proposal gives detailed description of the hazards caused by the factors. It has also been mentioned that talking and driving causes more risks than drinking and driving. It largely affects the drivers’ cognitive abilities. Therefore, proper concern must be given regarding this and future researches must be carried out in order to aware more and more people.

References

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (2013). Mobile device use while driving--United States and seven European countries, 2011. MMWR. Morbidity and mortality weekly report, 62(10), 177.

Gill, P. S., Kamath, A., & Gill, T. S. (2012). Distraction: an assessment of smartphone usage in health care work settings. Risk management and healthcare policy, 5, 105.

Lee, V. K., Champagne, C. R., & Francescutti, L. H. (2013). Fatal distraction: cell phone use while driving. Canadian Family Physician, 59(7), 723-725.

Leung, S., Croft, R. J., Jackson, M. L., Howard, M. E., & McKenzie, R. J. (2012). A comparison of the effect of mobile phone use and alcohol consumption on driving simulation performance. Traffic injury prevention, 13(6), 566-574.

Olsen, E. O. M., Shults, R. A., & Eaton, D. K. (2013). Texting while driving and other risky motor vehicle behaviors among US high school students. Pediatrics, 131(6), e1708-e1715.

Sanbonmatsu, D. M., Strayer, D. L., Medeiros-Ward, N., & Watson, J. M. (2013). Who multi-tasks and why? Multi-tasking ability, perceived multi-tasking ability, impulsivity, and sensation seeking. PloS one, 8(1), e54402.

Schlesener, M. C., & Mauer, B. D. (2015). U.S. Patent No. 9,226,104. Washington, DC: U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Zhou, X., & Curry, W. M. (2012). U.S. Patent No. 8,204,649. Washington, DC: U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

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