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‘Thumbs on the Wheel’ by Shiffrin and Silberschatz Essay

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Updated: Apr 15th, 2021

Rarely do drivers hesitate to use their mobile phones when the need arises even when they are behind the wheels. At any particular moment, there are millions of drivers on the roads. It is frightening to see a driver on the road checking his or her email without stopping the car to do so. Many road accidents are caused by people who are not keen while driving. Therefore, this issue needs to be debated and a solution found if the number of people dying on the roads needs to be reduced. According to the essay ‘Thumbs on the wheel’ by Mark Shiffrin and Avi Silberschatz, telecommunication companies should design mobile phones in a way that makes them impossible to use while driving and install cell towers to burr any transmission to mobile phones on the move instead of merely making it a crime to use them when driving. Instead of making illegal the use of mobile phones when behind the wheels, more resources should be allocated in designing mobile phones that cannot function when their users are behind the wheels and equipping vehicles with hardware that blocks mobile phone network when driving.

From my experience, when someone receives an email or a text message, regardless of what he or she is doing, they always check and respond to it. If he or she is behind the wheels, rarely will they stop the vehicle to answer a phone call or respond to a received email. Additionally, the use of mobile phones when behind the wheels makes it difficult to react to any danger on the road. If mobile phones were designed in a manner that they would not function while their users are behind the wheel, drivers would have to stop their cars before responding to phone calls. Consequently, this would make drivers keen on the roads.

I have also observed that many vehicles have tinted windows and, therefore, it is difficult to see what might be happening inside especially if the vehicle is moving. For this reason, making it illegal to use mobile phones while operating a vehicle may not yield the expected results since traffic police officers patrolling on highways may not be able to spot people using mobile phones while driving. It would necessitate the deployment of many officers so as to apprehend as many drivers flaunting the law as possible. This would make no economic sense.

According to the aforementioned essay, I agree with the authors as that is one of the best ways, if not the only one, of making sure that people behind the wheels do not use their mobile gadgets to respond to emails, text messages and receive or make calls. This would also be my proposition as it tackles the problem well without leaving any loopholes. In addition to this, I am certain that dedicating resources to public education on the dangers and consequences resulting from using mobile phones while operating vehicles would go a long way in reducing the number of road accidents caused by distracted drivers.

In conclusion, this issue should be resolved as soon as possible because we have the resources to resolve it and make our roads safe. Telecommunication companies should liaise with motor vehicle companies in designing their products to ensure that the proposition above is effective and relevant to its intended purpose. The use of hands-free gadgets like Bluetooth does not resolve the issue because it also makes drivers distracted while on the road and this is dangerous for everyone including other drivers and pedestrians.

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IvyPanda. (2021, April 15). ‘Thumbs on the Wheel’ by Shiffrin and Silberschatz. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/thumbs-on-the-wheel-by-shiffrin-and-silberschatz/

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"‘Thumbs on the Wheel’ by Shiffrin and Silberschatz." IvyPanda, 15 Apr. 2021, ivypanda.com/essays/thumbs-on-the-wheel-by-shiffrin-and-silberschatz/.

1. IvyPanda. "‘Thumbs on the Wheel’ by Shiffrin and Silberschatz." April 15, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/thumbs-on-the-wheel-by-shiffrin-and-silberschatz/.


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IvyPanda. "‘Thumbs on the Wheel’ by Shiffrin and Silberschatz." April 15, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/thumbs-on-the-wheel-by-shiffrin-and-silberschatz/.

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IvyPanda. 2021. "‘Thumbs on the Wheel’ by Shiffrin and Silberschatz." April 15, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/thumbs-on-the-wheel-by-shiffrin-and-silberschatz/.

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IvyPanda. (2021) '‘Thumbs on the Wheel’ by Shiffrin and Silberschatz'. 15 April.

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