Free Distracted Driving: Impact of Cell Phones on Mortality Rate Essay Sample

Over the years, there has been an increase in the mortality rate in many countries. Though the cause of this rise is variant, there is clear evidence that improvement in technology have a big role in it. For instance, many people acquire infections from the kind of lifestyle they live, and pollution to the environment. However, in this case, we shall not look into these details of how infections are acquired through the improvement of technology. We will be focusing on focusing on the role of technology and transport system to the mortality rate. There is an alarming rise in fatalities resulting from distracted driving in the US. This tremendous rise has been linked to use of cell phones while driving (Wilson & Simpson, 2010). We will look at results, which were obtained by Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS), between 1999 and 2008.

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The aim of the study was to establish the link between road accidents and use of cell phones while driving. This was done through analysis of data on the road fatalities that occurred in the United States public roads from 1999 to 2008. The trends on the use of mobile phones while driving and texting, drive- related factors and crash characteristics were recorded and analyzed during the study.


The study involved both male and female citizens. They were grouped according to their age. The baseline age is 29 years. The participants are either 29 years, above 29 or below 29 years. Records of whether they had previous driving violations were analyzed. The participants were those involved an accident on a public road and at least one fatality occurred within 30 days.  The fatalities occurred because of distraction such as eating, texting or using mobile phone when driving.  The study also studied the volume of texting and use of mobile phones while driving.

Type of study

The study was both quantitative and qualitative. It involved multivariate regression statistic to study the target group. The statistical instruments used were quantitative as it showed the number of participants studied while the correlation between the different variables (use of cell phone and increase in distracted accidents) was qualitative.


The author assumed that there is a relationship between phone use and texting and accidents occurring in distracted vehicle collisions.


Analysis of database containing comprehensive demographic and crash information regarding all accidents occurring on United States public roads was done and those selected for record in Fatality Reporting System (FARS) were those whose fatality occurred within 30 days following a crash. The sources of information included police reports, state licensing files, death certificates, hospital medical and coroner records. This was done for a period of 10 years.

During the study, a careful examination of the driver related factors was given. The accidents that were regarded as having resulted from distraction were those whose outcome showed that the driver was inattentive, emotional, careless or using computer or cell phone. Throughout this period, 51857 fatalities resulting from driver distraction occurred. The US Federal communication commission’s Wireline Competition Bureau provided data on cell phone subscribers for each state, which would enable in examining the trend in fatalities and association with phone use. The state texting was analyzed using multivariate analysis from 2002 to 2007(Wilson & Simpson, 2010).


According to the study done by Nsuami (2010), the trend of fatalities resulting from distracted driving declined in 1999 to 2005 but later increased by 28% after 2005 (from 4572 to 5870 fatalities ). There was also increase in texting volume, which could have explained the observed increase in fatality numbers. It had earlier been predicted that an additional 16000 road fatalities would occur from 2001 to 2007.  In 2008, it was estimated that 1 in 6 serious vehicle collisions was as a result of distractions while driving. In addition, the statistics showed that more males were likely to be involved in these fatal accidents compared to females. The proportion of distracted drivers aged 29 years or younger who were involved declined from 1999 to 2003 but later rose to 39% of the total involved in distracted accidents in 2008. Analysis using a multivariate regression showed that 1 million extra cell phone subscribers would bring about 19.0% additional fatalities( Neyens & Boyle,2008).


Texting and use of cell phones while driving has resulted to many fatal accidents and is an obvious public hazard. Several researches have linked the alarming rate of distracted driving fatalities to the increasing volume of texting and cell phone use. Thus, laws should be enacted to prohibit use of cell phones or texting while driving in order to reduce these accidents. Special measures like Blue tooth and other technologies that hinder use of hand held devices (Strayer & Johnston, 2003). With these in place, there would be a reduction in the fatalities occurring on public roads due to distracted driving. This research was well organized and the results clearly recorded and analyzed. The findings can helpful to many citizens, if used well in prevention of road carnage, and hence reduce mortality rate.


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