Dialing While Driving: The Battle over Cell Phone Use on America’s Roadways

Jesse A. Cribb, Jr., Dialing While Driving: The Battle over Cell Phone Use on America’s Roadways, 37 Gonz. L. Rev. 89 (2002).

[PDF]    [Westlaw]    [LexisNexis]

Americans need only draw on personal experience to know that cell phones threaten the safety of every driver, passenger, and pedestrian on our roadways. We have all seen the commuter juggling act played out on a daily basis, like some sixty mile-per-hour circus act gone mad. Drivers juggle their cell phone, the steering wheel, and the clutch as they simultaneously tend to their breakfast, their hair, their makeup, and the daily news. Drive-time has become talk-time. Attention to snacks, in-car entertainment, and personal hygiene has become more important than attention to the road. This inattention is enough to drive any safety-minded driver down the road of contempt for every single cell phone toting motorist in America.

However, many other highway travelers have lost much more than their patience in the newly emerging cell phone revolution. In 1999, the driver of a sport utility vehicle blindly missed a stop sign and barreled through an intersection while attempting to discuss lunch plans on his cell phone. The 45
mile per hour mistake cost the life of two-year old Morgan Lee Pena, whose mother was driving her home from a play date with her cousin. The driver “received two traffic tickets and a $50 fine.”

Although cellular telephones have been around for 18 years, reduced prices have made them more readily accessible among the masses. As of July 2000, over 100 million citizens nationwide used cell phones and every two seconds an American signs up for cellular service. Furthermore, as many as 85% of Americans admit that they use their cell phones while on the road. As a result, drivers distracted by cell phones cause an estimated 800 accidents per day’ and as advanced technology for our cars becomes more readily available, the problem of driver distraction will only become worse.” . . . Read More

Comments are closed.