We all know that smartphones have been part of our lives. We are always with
smartphones.We are with them when we exercise, eat, or even sleep. We, as a passenger
walking down the street are with mobile phones. A lot of people might have the experience
of not noticing the change of the traffic light so they were in hurry. We, sometimes, as a
driver are with mobile phones. Those are the situations in which a big problem is caused.
There have been various of studies dealing with the relationship between everyday life and
mobile phones. In this paper, I would focus on the exact situation when drivers are with the
mobile phones. Not only on the danger it causes because we all know that it is hazardous",
but also on the negative outcomes in terms of economy.
As mentioned above, we all know that drivers’ using phone causes huge problems
especially in safety. Nevertheless, a consistent number of car accidents are caused due to
mobile phones. According to a study done by State Farm Insurance , an insurance company",
in the U.S. They found out that among drivers they studied 19% of them used the Internet
services during their drive.
Besides this study, there have been a lot other studies of drivers dealing with mobile
phones.The fact that there are continuing number of studies also implies that the danger
caused by mobile phones are not temporary, they are continuous. So isn’t there any other
alternative to mobile phones in a car? Then, there comes the idea of hands-free devices.
Hands-free devices are made for drivers to enjoy the same services like their mobile phones.
What’s more, they are not considered to be illegal. Therefore, we can see actors making
their calls using hands-free devices in the scene of tv shows or movies.
However, using hands-free devices does not necessarily means that it reduces the
probability of car accidents. According to a study done by Carnegie Mellon University, a
driver’s attention is reduced about 37% by just listening to someone talking on a phone.
That means, hands- free devices also distract drivers, which gives an ironic view to the fact
that there are not sufficient laws that regulate drivers with hands- free devices or firms that
produce cars that provide hand-free services.
What drivers do with their phones might be various but we can sort them into calls",
texting, internet surfing and so on. Whatever the criteria might be, the idea that all cause
negative impacts is same.
Instead of only pointing out the danger of mobile phones, we have to focus on the
actual losses of the problem. In public economic point of view, mobile phones in driving
causes social costs. It is well know that mobile phones cause costs to drivers. Accidents
caused by distraction due to smartphones cause cost for drivers or their insurance fee can
be increased. Moreover, it can be also shown as negative externalities, which means market
According to a study done by NHTSA(National Authority Traffic Safety
Administration), using phones while driving can reduce drivers well-being.This institution
says that mobile phones reduce the efficiency. Mobile phones make government engage
into the situation. For example, they have to affairs associated with those accidents, giving
drivers tickets and other things that all cause costs to the government. This shows that
driving with mobile phone is wasting because of the negative externalities caused by
distraction. Therefore, when the states makes a law that prohibits the use of smartphones",
mobile phones while driving, the negative externalities can be reduced thanks to those laws.
If a driver got a ticket for using mobile phones, that revenue of ticket can be used to local or
state needs , which increases overall welfare of the city, like the concept of pigovian tax. For
example, if there are drivers those got the tickets for their use of mobile phones while
driving, they have to pay for the fee. That paid fee goes to government budgets and can be
used to make new roads or other things that increases the utility of citizens. However, if
there was no law against using phones while driving, the government should other areas to
get that amount of budget or the overall utility might be decreased. Therefore, banning using
mobile phones are necessary because needless to say they are safe and economically
Then what should be backed up? To sum up, we all know that using mobile phones
while driving is harmful. However, drivers keep using their phones, which causes continuous
number of car accidents. It is not useful to use mobile phones in terms of economics
because that causes negative externalities, which is market failure. If there are enough laws
that ban on the use of mobile phones, then the overall utility would rise. Nevertheless, there
are not enough regulations to be precisely ban the use. Even hands-free devices, which
actually known as to cause distractions to drivers are allowed to be used. Doing campaigns
to encourage drivers not to use their phones is also great. However, a more precise and
practical regulations should be made to make the social costs minimized. ‘Precise’ in this
context means that we have to regulate those that are not considered to be illegal like
hands-free devices. ‘Practical’ in this context means, as firms are producing cars that
provides bluetooth or hands -free services, drivers can use it. However, if there is a law that
regulate the car with such services come out, the percentage of drivers using hands-free
devices would decreased. Therefore, more studies should be focused on the type of mobile
phones (while they are actual phones or hands-free) . Also, the ban need to be stricter than
now so that the overall well-being could be maximized. The more stricter it would be, the
more budget we could get from those drivers, and our overall increased would increase",
though the best solution is there is no one using their phones and accidents related to
phones are decreased in terms of numbers.
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