Don’t Text and Drive
James Jefferson Jr.
In today’s world we are blessed with breakthroughs in technology that allows each of us to have our own personal communications device. They are small enough to go anywhere and give us the capability to communicate while doing anything. Anything unfortunately includes texting while driving. Should anyone be allowed to text of do anything that could distract them while they are driving? It’s obviously not worth the risk of injury or death to you or anyone involved. Accidents that are caused by distracted driving make it difficult for those involved to live the life they are accustomed to. There are some drivers who think it’s cool or they are physically skilled enough to multi-task while operating a motor vehicle. Unfortunately some of these drivers will have accidents due to their risky driving habits. Automobile drivers should stop performing actions that distract them while they are driving.
Dr. Martin Cooper in 1993 while working for Motorola developed the first hand held mobile phone. Ironically enough the first call he made was to a friend working a Bell laboratory that was also trying patent such a device. This early prototype evolved into the DynaTAC in 1983. Times change and there have been many advances involving mobile phone technology. We are now able to take pictures, record videos, download movies, play games and texting among others. The question that should be asked of Dr. Cooper is “did you make a phone call on the drive home to tell someone about your good fortune”? The answer is probably yes since he had no idea it would be more distracting to his driving than just about anything he could do.
Presently 35% of cellular phone users admit to texting while driving. At this rate we can all ask ourselves why do we do it ? Why do we risk being involved in accidents, injuries and death in order to text while driving? It is a fact that at some point in time everyone takes risks. The neurotransmitter serotonin was studied at the University of Delaware. The findings concluded that people who take chances may not have enough (Macdonald, 2001). What’s alarming is that all of us take risks no matter how many times it ends in disaster. A hot bed for risky behavior is any motor vehicle because the nature of driving is multitasking. Pumping brakes while turning the steering wheel, smoking a cigarette, turning the radio dial and switching on the signal light while viewing traffic is distracting enough. Studies show that as much as 80% of automobile accidents are caused by distracted driving. At Virginia Tech Transportation Institute they showed that drivers who text while driving are 23 times more likely to be involved in accidents than non-distracted drivers (Pozzi, 2011). A study of 34, 000 commercial drivers filmed with in-cab video equipment concluded that 44.5% of the distractions found were using a hand held mobile phone, 13.4 % drinking a beverage, 12.7 eating food and 9.9% operating a hand held device. Research conducted at the Department of Physical Therapy at Stony Brook University concluded that performing dual task such as texting with a cell phone while walking may alter working memory and cause walking errors. If walking and texting at the same time can cause a 61% increase in lateral deviation imagine how texting while driving affects our ability to drive safely.
In 2008 alone 6,000 deaths were caused by texting while driving. The number accidents and deaths have increased since then with no solution in site Those numbers are staggering it’s as if the world is losing a whole generation of people who took a foolish risk and lost. A research study revealed that drivers could separate their focus between two tasks when talking on the phone while driving. Text messaging while driving only lets you concentrate on driving or texting (Texting While...
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