Texting and Driving

Topics: Mobile phone, Text messaging, Instant messaging Pages: 5 (1861 words) Published: December 9, 2012
Over-consumption is one of the most detrimental things to society today. The United States as a whole is a prime leader in over-consumption. Consumption to a certain degree is acceptable and is somewhat expected in a society where everything is as fast paced as it is in the U.S. The consumption topic that I am choosing to analyze is the overuse of technology. I am not arguing that technology is detrimental to society. In fact, I believe that technology has allowed the U.S. to make a great leap forward in establishing itself as a worldwide leader. What I am arguing, rather, is that the overuse of technology is detrimental to society. The overuse of technology can be detrimental to society in very miniscule ways which does not pose a threat to the livelihood of any individuals. In some cases, however, this overuse of technology can prove to be deadly. More exclusively, I am choosing to analyze the dangers of driving while text messaging. Because of peoples need for fast information and easier ways to communicate, text messaging has become extremely popular within the past decade. Text message use has steadily increased each and every year since the technology has been invented. According to the International Association for the Wireless Telecommunications Industry, text message use has increased almost 50% from June 2009 to June 2011(CTIA 2011). This number is increasing every month. Along with this increasing trend of text messaging, we are also seeing an increase in driving fatalities directly related to texting while driving. I hypothesize that texting while driving is directly related to an increase in driving fatalities on roadways. The data and research which I have collected and included in the latter parts of this paper will provide proof that texting while driving causes an increase in driving fatalities on U.S. roadways. Most scholars have come to the consensus that texting while driving is a negative thing for the health of drivers. They also agree that texting while driving is not only detrimental to the person who is engaging in this dangerous driving practice, but also to innocent drivers who may be affected negatively by another drivers choice to text while driving. In my research I found out that no scholars tried to make an argument for the positive aspects of texting while driving. Thus, the literature on the subject has to do with the negative aspects of texting while driving. Nina Dragutinovic tells us that her findings have revealed a large amount of drivers, between (60 to 70 %) acknowledge that they use their cell phone while driving (Dragutinovic 2005). This statistic is very surprising to me because I do not understand why so many people would choose to engage in such an activity when they are well aware of the dangers associated with it. Dragutinovic also goes on to estimate that at any one point during the day, 1 to 4% of drivers on the road are using their mobile phones (Dragutinovic 2005). Dragutinovic outlines two areas in which drivers can be distracted. She cites physical and cognitive distractions which are directly related to texting while driving. The physical part of the distraction has to do with the operator of a vehicle being physically handicapped by driving because of their use of a cellphone. The cognitive part of the distraction has to do with the driver being distracted mentally by their conversation that they are partaking in. She goes on to further explain that the “complexity of the phone conversation is the important factor that also determines the extent of the effect of the phone conversation on driving performance” (http://www.swov.nl/rapport/r-2005-12.pdf, 2005)) Because of these distractions, Dragutinovic has pointed out that drivers using a cell phone are four times as likely to get into an accident as drivers who are not using a cell phone while driving. Some may argue that a hands free cell phone device can be a safe alternative for this problem. Others disagree with...

References: Cited
http://www.swov.nl/rapport/r-2005-12.pdf - use of mobile phones while driving
"Teens Aware Of Texting Dangers, Yet Carry On." Professional Safety 56.12 (2011): 18. Academic Search Premier. Web. 14 Dec. 2011.
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