Texting and Driving Danger

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Technology has been part of life in modern times. In both a positive and negative way, it has affected our lives. The use of smartphones and other mobile devices has greatly increased. In recent years, phone addiction has been on the rise, with drivers not being spared either. This has been victimized by children, senior management, and even truck drivers. When driving, they have encountered at least one distraction from their mobile phones. These driving distractions have led to serious accidents, and the number of such accidents has risen recently. In a survey conducted by National Highway Transport Safety Administration (NHTSA) in 2008, in accidents involving a distracted driver 6,000 people died (NHTSA, 2015). These accidents have also left more than half a million people with injuries. These numbers have caused local and the federal government to get concerned and find ways to reduce risks involved in distracted driving and increase the safety of the drivers, passengers, and pedestrians.

Texting while Driving

One major distraction is the use of mobile phones when driving. Recent evidence has shown how dangerous mixing texting, and driving can be. According to the NHTSA, texting while behind the wheels leads to the eye of the driver off the road for about 4.6 seconds (NHTSA, 2015). Texting while driving has become the number one cause of accidents. It has even replaced drinking and driving as a leading cause of death on our roads, and in most cases, teenagers are the victims.

This behavior is due to an addiction to our phones. In a survey conducted by AT& T, almost half of drivers admitted the fact that they use their cellphones while driving and 90% of the drivers understand driving and texting is very dangerous (Young & Human Relations Media, 2015). The reason behind this irony according to experts is that each instance we get a notification or alert on the phone a signal gets sent to the brain which makes us feel anxious and happy.

The Dangers of Texting and Driving

Driving while texting is dangerous due to some reasons. One reason is, apart from endangering the life of a driver, the lives of other people on the road get endangered such as passengers, pedestrians, and motorists. According to statistics, in 2012 the number of injured people in car accidents that involve a distracted driver was over 400,000 a number that increased from the previous year’s 387,000 (NHTSA, 2015). Transporting other persons in your car is a huge responsibility. However, many drivers especially teenagers take this for granted. This behavior puts your passengers’ lives at a significantly higher risk of getting into an accident while in your vehicle. Texting and driving also put other road users such as motorists and pedestrians at risks of getting involved in an accident. Because when concentrating on the phone when texting you are unable to navigate the road as required putting other motorists and pedestrians at risk.

Statistically speaking, about 3000 teenagers die annually in tragic accidents caused by driving while texting. Mobile phones take part in 1.6 million crashes annually, and this causes almost half a million injuries and 6000 deaths (Young & Human Relations Media, 2015). Truck drivers have a higher probability of being involved in an accident while texting and driving. It is estimated that 40% of all American teenagers confess they have once boarded a car where the driver was texting and driving (Jacques, 2013).

Texting and driving is also illegal. State laws and insurance policies have been passed to make unlawful use of phones when driving. The drivers caught violating this law have to pay hefty fines and are issued a citation. These punishments are not worth since the driver can avoid them by avoiding texting when driving. If an accident occurs, insurance companies will not pay for the damages or they may increase the rates. 

Solutions

States should come up with legislation that limits phone use when driving such as an introduction of fines for such offenses. At least nineteen states have come up with strict fines and implemented some texting ban so as to ensure the safety of the driver and other road users. In the state of New Jersey, for example, the state put a ban on all handheld gadgets for all drivers, drivers under 21 years are also banned from hand-held and hands-free phone usage and another ban on all drivers on texting (Jacques, 2013).

Advocating for discipline among drivers is another solution to reduce accidents. Drivers need to keep in mind that whenever driving and pick a phone to text or call they are endangering lives. The driver can reduce the temptation of using their phones by turning off the cellphone while driving or avoiding using the cellphones when driving. This will ensure the driver stays focused on the road hence reduce accidents by distraction.

Manufacturers of cars should also help to contribute to reducing accidents caused by texting and driving. Manufacturers can come up with cars using a new technology that would either switch off phones or disables the message receiving capability of phones when a car is started. If the technology only turns off messaging, then the only calls allowed are emergency calls. Phone manufacturers can also come up with applications that can work by turning off message features of mobile phones whenever a driver enters the car. 

Conclusion

To end the accidents caused by texting while driving a lot of efforts must come from state and the federal government. Solutions to finish this menace must start in order to honor the lives of the people who died in such accidents, and this issue addressed with the seriousness it deserves. A text message is not worth the risk of losing lives of the people involved. Drivers should therefore have self-discipline and stop using their cellphones while driving.    

References

Jacques, M. S. (2013). Teen driving. Detroit: Greenhaven Press.

NHTSA. (2015). Distracted Driving: Facts and Statistics. Retrieved from https://www.distraction.gov/stats-research-laws/facts-and-statistics.html

Young, J. G., & Human Relations Media, inc. (2015). Texting and driving: The deadliest distraction.

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