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“No Phones Allowed” Do Cell Phone Bans Really Work?

Cell Phone Bans“No Phones Allowed” Do Cell Phone Bans Really Work?

Cell phones are a big part of your everyday life, with a constant roll of text messages, Twitter updates, email, and good-old fashioned phone calls your mobile device is rather distracting. Due to the distractions cell phones are known to present there are a number of instances when your cell phone is ‘illegal’ to use. Cell phones are often banned at school, while driving and flying, and sometimes even at work. No matter how hard the law or certain institutions try and ban you from using your cell phone, do you listen or find ways to break the rules? Over the last few years more and more cell phone bans have been instituted, as well as reassessed. Research data proves people don’t like the idea of going without a cell phone, even for a short period of time. Meaning cell phone bans don’t do as much good as they should. Then again, without any cell phone bans at all we are simply asking for trouble. America, and the world at large, is hooked on cell phones—at school, in the air, while driving, and even at work. Here we take a look at the current cell phone bans, why we have them, if they are working, and where the future of cell phone bans is headed.

Cell Phones Banned While Driving

Only a few years ago it was legal to talk and text on your cell phone while driving, and in some states, it is still legal. Tons of people have been fined for using their phone while driving, but does a cell phone ban while driving really work? Clearly talking and using your phone is a huge distraction. A 2014 study conducted by the NHTSA, reports that reaching for your cell phone, talking on it, texting, or using a phone at all while driving increases your risk for an accident by 3 times. Even without a law to ban cell phone usage for drivers, the public agrees that cell phones are dangerous on the road. 9 out of 10 people admit that reading or typing a text while driving is dangerous. And 50% of people agree that it is still dangerous to use your phone even if you are parked at a stoplight. Despite the known risks, 45% say that they read text messages while driving, and 37% can’t help but respond. 1 out of ever 4 drivers surf social media sites, and 1/3 admit using a cell phone or tablet to look up information while driving. Although we know it is dangerous, and in some states illegal, we continue to do it. Washington was the first state to enforce a texting while driving ban, now 44 of all US states have a ban on texting and driving. In some states texting is not banned for all drivers, 4 states ban novice drivers from texting and driving, and 3 states ban school bus drivers from texting. Even scarier than adults texting and driving are teens. Beware when you message or call your kids, 53% of teens that were recently caught texting or gabbing while driving were talking to mom or dad at the time. While you know using a cell phone and driving is incredibly dangerous, do you still do it? Are cell phones so addicting that we can’t ignore them, even when we know it’s the safest idea. The natural process of human decision-making includes weighing out each act, and asking: do the risks outweigh the benefits? More than likely those text messages are not life or death related, but reaching for your phone could be. If basic logic does not deter cell phone use in drivers, do cell phone bans while driving work to curb the problem? A study conducted in 2010 found that cell phones don’t change crash rates. In 2011, 21% of fatal accidents involved distracted teens on their cell phones, according to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. In 2012, 26% of crashes involved a cell phone, during which time there were 3,328 people killed and 421,000 people injured all because of cell phones. In other words, it doesn’t seem like cell phone driving laws have changed much. According to the most recent 2014 data, 1 in 4 car crashes is due to distraction caused by a cell phone. Plus, authorities and researches argue that cell phone related car crashes are way underreported. The crazy thing is even with all of this information and a wealth of knowledge about the dangers of texting and driving, not one state in the US has instituted a ban on all cell phone usage for all drivers. Instead, rules include exceptions like “hands free” usage, because apparently even the law understands you can’t go one second without your cell phone. Perhaps the most interesting statistic of all is that the National Safety Council released a report earlier this year that revealed 21% of crashes involved a driver using a hands-free or handheld device, while only 5% of crashes involved a driver that was actually on their phone texting (Here are the statistics). Looks like our cell phone bans need some major rule adjustments.

Cell Phones Banned At School

Elementary, middle, and high schools all across the nation have a ban on cell phones. It’s not just the 18 and under crowd that gets the ban, some colleges have also implemented no cell phone laws on campus. Teens are among some of the biggest cell phone users of all, and so how well do these bans really work amongst rebellious students? Clearly, school is supposed to be a place of learning, and if you are constantly on your phone text messaging and checking social media it’s going to be hard to learn. Hence why cell phones are banned at school in the first place. Despite the ban on cell phones, most high school and college students still bring their phone to school, even if they keep it discreetly tucked away in their backpack, it’s there. In proof, Instagram and Facebook are bloated with images of young kids at school, snapping selfies and group photos when the ‘authorities’ are not looking. The college bans don’t work either, considering with or without a cell ban in class, 80% of college students text in class. In high school these numbers are even higher, with 94% of high school students sending off text messages in class. 17% of students say they text in class constantly. So much for banning cell phones at school, but if phones were not banned would they numbers be worse or better? Scholastic argues that cell phones should not be banned in school at all, when technology could instead be used as a great learning tool. Some school districts across the nation have already added iPads to their list of curriculum tools with great success. Although using a school iPad is much different than having ‘legal’ access to your own cell phone. Or is it? One Professor at Bellarmine University has his students use their own cell phones to further engage in class. He starts each class by posting a question on the white board. As students file in they are supposed to answer the question through text message using their phone. These texts then automatically appear on the board at the front of class so that everyone can read their peers responses (Learn More).

Cell Phones Banned While Flying On Airplanes

Cell phones have been banned on airplanes for as long as you have had one. “Airplane mode” is a real feature you can power your phone partially off with. Plus, we have all heard the warnings from airline pilots, advising everyone to turn off their phones before the flight starts. It’s even been rumored that the plane will crash or lose signal if everyone on board is using their cell phone, and so phones are powered off without too many, if any, rebels on board. That is until airlines outside of the US started to let their passengers use their cellular data thousands of feet up in the air, until they cross into US air space at least. American officials and airline companies are now debating if they should jump on board and allow people to use their phone while flying. Here in the States, you are now able to use cell phone data for certain things while flying, although it doesn’t look very likely that you will be allowed to take phone calls on a plane. A spokeswoman for the Department of Transportation said that they are still weighing out the options, and are largely concerned about passenger comfort. Say for instance you board a plane from California to New York, and the entire 7-hour flight you are trapped sitting beside a cell phone gabber, can you image how annoying this might be–especially if you are trying to enjoy a good book, or squeeze in a nap. Airlines are not excited about allowing flyers to talk on their cell phone while flying either. A few airlines have already come out and said they will not allow it and will keep the cell phone ban in place, regardless what the law says. So while you might be able to send text messages, check your email, or surf the web, you can’t count on catching up with old friends while you soar through the clouds.

Cell Phones Banned At Work

There are certain situations where cell phone bans make perfect sense, like driving. But is it fair for employers to ban cell phone use amongst employees? By law, employers can do so if they please, there is no law that protects the employee in this instance. The only way it’s not legal for an employer to institute a “no cell phones at work” policy is if different employees have different cell phone rules, in which case it is illegal based on differential treatment. Companies justify banning phones because cell phones deter employee productivity and can lead to lost profits. If an employee has an accident on the job due to the distraction of his or her cell phone, this is also bad for the employer due to liability issues. Also, since phones have cameras on them, companies with top-secret products don’t want to risk anything leaking out. Still, employees don’t like to be told to leave their cell phone at home or in the car. If your employer has asked you to ditch your iPhone, look up in the company policy handbook to see if there is a rule against it. If not, you can ask around to notice if the ban is there for all employees, or if you have been singled out. If you feel like the ban has been unfairly placed on, you can try talking to your supervisor to see if there is a reason that you have been asked to leave your cell phone at home. Cell phone bans can be annoying and feel like a violation of your natural rights, but all laws and rules are born for a reason. While your cell phone is your handy-dandy best friend, perhaps there are times when going without it is good for you and everyone else. Distracted cell phone usage can also lead to a broken phone. When your phone breaks you want it fixed fast, so come on in and visit the pros at My Broken Phone. We will get you back to texting in no time!