Should Texting and Driving Have More Serious Consequences?

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Ashura Klaffer
Mrs. Neibch
English 4
22 March 2013

“Should texting and driving have more serious consequences?” Most think before they drink and drive, but most do not think twice about texting and driving. Next time you are in the driver’s seat and about to pull out your cell phone, think twice and think about the dangers involved in text while driving. In today’s lifestyle, text messaging is a main form of communication. People impulsively respond to that buzz of their cell phones and often tune out the surroundings. Texting while driving takes away the one thing that absolutely everyone counts on while behind the wheel, vision. Eyes are the most important thing needed when driving and when not on the road a lot of harm can be caused. Unfortunately, an overwhelming amount of drivers do not hesitate to both read and respond to test messages while driving. Throughout the day people see others texting while driving; even police officers are either texting or typing on their computer. When drivers are on the road while texting others grow to be apprehensive and intimidated. At 55 miles per hour it takes 5 seconds to travel the length of a football field without looking at the road. In 2011 at least 23% of auto mobile accidents involved cell phones, which is 1.3 million crashes; one teen from Idaho totaled two cars in the span of about a year, texting at the time of both crashes (“DWI: Driving While Intexticated”). The most complicated thing to comprehend is regardless of the fact that people always hear about catastrophic car accidents concerning distracted drivers, the public still continue to text at the wheel of a vehicle. Also to most people they may assume that young women are doing the texting while driving more often, age and sex does not matter in this situation. It is all men and women that do it and nobody can say otherwise. The same number of men and women text and drive and all of them know that is extremely dangerous, and no matter what age the driver is, under no circumstance should they be texting while driving. Not all people feel this is important for instance; truckers want exemptions from the laws of no texting and driving. According to New York Times, many of them may have their hands on computer keyboards and look at the screens of their computers. Most long-haul truckers now have computers in their cabs that let them communicate with their dispatchers; and as Congress ponders making it illegal to text and drive, they want to be exempt. “We think that’s overkill,” Clayton Boyce, spokesman for the American Trucking Associations, said of a federal bill that would force states to ban texting while driving if they want to keep receiving federal highway money. After videotaping truckers behind the wheel, the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute found that those who used on-board computers faced 10 times the risk of crashing, nearly crashing or wandering from their lane than truckers who did not use on-board computers. That figure is lower than the 23 times greater risk when truckers texted, compared with drivers simply focused on the road, according to the same study. However, the Virginia researchers said that truckers tend to use on-board computers more often than they text. Some safety advocates and researchers say the devices — which can include a small screen near the steering wheel and a keyboard on the dash or in the driver’s lap — present precisely the same risk as other devices. The risk may be even greater, they note, given the size of 18-wheel tractor trailers and the longer time required for them to stop. The study found that truckers using on-board computers take their eyes off the road for an average of four seconds. 70 mph x 5280 / 60(min) x 60(sec) = 102.66 ft / sec. One second is all it takes. Everyday a driver on the road is distracted by texting, as these drivers are behind the wheel they don’t realize how reckless they are to others on the road. A person who is driving recklessly...
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