In recent years, intoxicated drivers have caused numerous deaths, causing car accident related demises to skyrocket. Even more recently, distracted drivers have proved to be a hazard on the road. In an attempt by the California legislature to stop these deaths, Governor Arnold Swartzenegger signed a law in 2008 that requires all drivers over the age of eighteen to use hands free phone devices. Drivers who are under eighteen cannot use phone devices whatsoever while driving. Everyone is texting these days, even grandfathers, which is why a new law came out prohibiting texting while driving. The question is, are these new laws the right move and will it really make a difference?
Studies have shown that drivers from between the ages of sixteen and twenty get into more accidents than other age group. This makes them more of a liability to insure, and increases the cost of car insurance. Many young drivers think they know everything there is about driving, which can make them selfish drivers and cause dangerous overconfidence. This overconfidence makes drivers feel the need to break the law and talk on the phone as well as subtly text while driving. When in fact, the reason teen drivers are such a liability is because they do not have enough experience on the road. Adolescent drivers are often so confident about their driving abilities that they do not think they need to improve or practice their skills on the road. This ignorance in young drivers is probably the reason why they get into more accidents each year. But will not allowing teens to use cell phones fix the problem? Or is it better to take more drastic legal action by only allowing those eighteen or older to drive?
Drivers who are allowed to use handheld devices are split in terms of what side they choose. Some think it is a good idea to use handheld devices, while others find it an unnecessary hassle . Those who think it is unnecessary believe that handheld devices exacerbate distractions. For instance, some Bluetooth equipment and handheld devices stress drivers out more, especially when they fail to work properly. On Sepulveda Boulevard, people can be seen right and left in their cars screaming or making angry hand motions. This anger can lead to more aggression by drivers on the road, which can also cause more accidents. Others who find handheld devices unnecessary are those who think they are talented enough drivers to talk on the phone and drive simultaneously.
However some drivers like the change to handheld devices. Many say that instead of causing more stress, it causes less by allowing drivers to relax while talking to a friend or taking care of a business call in the car. It also can be considered more convenient because they are able to put both hands on the wheel instead of using one hand while holding the phone. Drivers who agree with this law also say that it will cause fewer accidents and distract fewer people from doing what they need to be doing while on the road: driving.
There is obviously a lot of debate on this issue over whether drivers should be able to drive while using their cell phone or not. But it can be said that this law is a step in the right direction as far as protecting more people from those careless, distracted drivers. However, who knows whether or not this law will actually save lives. Now that this law has been set into place, there is hope that this is a step to making the road a safer place.