Cell Phone vs Texting

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Professor Duncan

ENG 101 # 18717

1 March 2013

I text and drive. I know it’s wrong and I try not to do it but when I’m stuck in traffic and I get a split second to skip past a song I don’t want to hear on my iPhone (which doubles as my iPod), my thumb usually wanders to my e-mail inbox, then to some news app, then to finally return that overdue text to a friend that I forgot to send before I left the house. Before I know it I’m dividing my time between driving and using my phone. I know I have a problem, and studies say I’m not the only one.

The Associated Press reports that texting while driving is up 50%, even as more states are enacting laws to prevent people from doing so. Studies show that 20% of adults are willing to admit that they have sent text messages while driving, and I focus on the word “admit” here because using your phone while on the road is one of the stupidest and most dangerous things you can do.

There were an estimated 3,092 deaths in crashes at least partially caused by “distractions” in 2010, and experts think that a sizable portion of that number comes from the lure of our smartphones taking our focus off of the road. In response, thirty-five states have imposed penalties on anyone caught texting and driving, and have initiated public awareness campaigns about the dangers of letting technology distract you from getting where you need to go.

Laws

A primary law means that an officer can ticket the driver for the offense without any other traffic violation taking place. A secondary law means an officer can only issue a ticket if a driver has been pulled over for another violation (like speeding).

Arizona-

Ban on all cell phone use (handheld and hands-free) for school bus drivers (Primary law)

New Mexico

Handheld ban for drivers with in state vehicles

Ban on all cell phone use (handheld and hands-free) for novice drivers (Primary law)

Ban on texting for novice drivers (Primary law)

Colorado

Ban on all cell phone use (handheld and hands-free) for novice drivers (Primary law)

Ban on texting for all drivers (Primary law)

Note: Colorado defines novice drivers as all drivers under the age of 18.

Utah

Ban on texting for all drivers (Primary law)

Utah's law defines careless driving as committing a moving violation (other than speeding) while distracted by use of a handheld cell phone or other activities not related to driving

California

Handheld ban for all drivers (Primary law)

Ban on all cell phone use (handheld and hands-free) for bus drivers (Primary law)

Ban on all cell phone use (handheld and hands-free) for novice drivers (Secondary law)

Ban on texting for all drivers (Primary law)

Note: California defines novice drivers as all drivers under the age of 18.

Texas

Ban on all cell phone (handheld and Hands-free) for bus drivers (Primary law)

Ban on all cell phone (handheld and Hands-free) for novice drivers (Primary law)

Ban on texting for novice drivers (Primary law)

Ban on texting for bus drivers (Primary law)

Texas has banned the use of hand-held phones and texting in school zones

The best way to help fight distracted driving is to get educated, and this page is a great place to start. Below are answers to some frequently asked questions that will help you better understand the safety threat posed by texting and cell phone use on America's roadways.

Is distracted driving really a problem?

Distracted driving kills. The friends, family, and neighbors of the thousands of people killed each year in distracted driving crashes will tell you it is a very serious safety problem. The nearly half a million people injured each year will agree.

What is distracted driving?

Distraction occurs any time you take your eyes off the road, your hands off the wheel, and your mind off your primary task: driving...
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