Texting while driving
Texting while driving is one of the worrying trends in the society, both teenagers and adults have developed a habit of using cell phones while driving. Texting while driving causes distraction and increases their chances of getting involved in car accidents. Such concerns have been raised by various government authorities, in trying to prevent such occurrence new laws have been enacted making cell phone use in cars illegal. However, not many people follow these laws, most people text and drive, assuming that they can pay attention to other cars. You often see people, texting or going through their phone while driving
Cell phone use while driving is the major cause of fatal accident, leading to several deaths. Despite these concerns, people are still fixated on their phones that are dangerous to not only the driver but also other road users. According to the recent road statistics, more than 22 recent of fatal road accidents are caused by teenagers using their cell phones while driving. Distraction on the roads is caused by teenagers who have confidence that they can text or talk on the phone while driving. More than 5,000 people have died last year due to text driving; these accidents are mostly caused by teenagers under the age of 21 years.
The dangers of texting while driving includes thousands of people dying annually as the number keep on increasing because texting is becoming popular. Even though fifty states have enacted laws that prohibit texting while driving, many of these laws are not reinforced by the lawmakers to limit the number of accidents that occur annually.
Stakeholders are calling for strong action and alternative programs to minimize road accidents. Currently, only 35 states the US have completely banned texting for all its road users, but this is not enough to curb the problem. There is the need for a nationwide ban on texting driving as recommended by the National Transportation Safety Board. Laws were banning texting while driving will save many lives in America. With the new trend of texting close to 5,000 deaths and numerous injuries have been caused by distracted drivers. It is imperative that the government should take stricter action to minimize the increasing death caused by young drivers. To effectively eliminate this vice, it is necessary for the government to enact unifying laws and stricter punishment for those who text while driving.
These new laws need to ban text driving for everyone not just young drivers because texting driving has similar effect on everyone. There should be no objection to laws for texting while driving. Each state needs to have similar laws against texting while driving, Massachusetts laws on texting while driving should be a model for other states. Massachusetts has the strictest laws on road safety. Punishment for those found texting while driving should be stiffened to push people to dig deeper into their pockets to pay more.
Fine alone is not enough; stricter regulation should include license suspension to make people keep off their phones while driving. Besides enacting new laws, alternative road safety programs need to be initiated to educate the public about the dangers of distracted driving more so on texting. The government needs to pass laws that make it compulsory for everyone to take distracted driving lessons. A national ban combined with alternative road safety programs will reduce the number of accidents caused by text driving.
areas in 2008, up from 33% a decade earlier. Only one-third of Americans had acell phone in 1999. By 2008, 91% of us did. Texting is on the rise, up from 9.8
billion messages a month in December ’05 to 110.4 billion in December ’08.
Another study conducted at Virginia Tech found that texting drivers are 23 timesmore likely to be involved in a collision than non-texters. And although the AAAreports 95 percent of drivers polled acknowledge texting while driving is dangerous,21 percent of them have done it recently anyway. Another thing that happens when a driver is
texting is that the driver’s mind would
be on the message that they are reading or writing. This of course, prevents thediver from thinking quickly to a situation on the road because he or she is thinkingabout the message. Car and Driver Magazine conducted a study in which thedriver of a vehicle would actually read and type out text messages while driving.
The study solely focused on the driver’s reaction times to a light mounted on thewindshield at eye level, meant to simulate a lead car’s brak
e lights. The test wasconducted on an old airplane runway, away from pedestrians, traffic, and real lifedriving conditions. The passenger would trigger the light and the driver wasinstructed to brake every time he saw the red light. While reading a text and
driving at 35 mph, the driver’s average baseline reaction time of 0.57 seconds
nearly tripled, to 1.44 seconds. While texting, his response time was 1.36 seconds.These figures correspond to an extra 45 and 41 feet, respectively, before hittingthe brakes. Think of what could happen in 41-45 feet
if you’re not paying attention
Lastly the study compared driving while under the influence of alcoholto texting while driving. The results were eye opening. The driver drank enough
alcohol to be at the legal limit of 0.08% blood alcohol content. The driver’s reaction
time after drinking averaged 0.64 seconds and, by comparison, added only seven
feet. The results at 70 mph were similar. The driver’s response time while reading
a text was 0.35 seconds longer than his base performance of 0.56 seconds, andwriting a text added 0.68 seconds to his reaction time. But his intoxicated number increased only 0.04 second over the base score, to a total of 0.60 second. This