It Can Wait: Cell Phone Use While Driving And Practical Suggestions For Behavior Change
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For the past few decades since mobile phones have become popularized, cell phone use while driving (CPUWD), mainly texting and calling, has also emerged as a prevalent behavior. The risks associated with it are significant, but there have not been noteworthy reductions in either CPUWD behavior nor in accident rates. Furthermore, the advent of smartphones, voice recognition technology, and built-in displays in cars that connect to phones have made using phones easier, thereby allowing drivers to engage in CPUWD behavior behind the wheel. In addition, CPUWD has not received as much spotlight as have other risky driving behaviors, such as drunk driving or speeding, despite being as dangerous. This thesis endeavors to bring this issue to people’s attention and offer suggestions for combatting it. First, I provide an overview of the dangers of CPUWD, establishing that the behavior critically impairs driving. Then, I describe the current US legislations banning either texting or hand-held phone use while driving, as well as their effects on enhancing road safety. Following that, I analyze the internal and external psychological factors that determine decisions to engage in CPUWD behavior. Finally, based on my examinations, I offer solutions to practically induce behavior changes and prevent CPUWD, emphasizing the need to target the psychological mechanisms underlying the behavior.