December 8, 2009
Dr. Kristen Walls
Cruz, Gilbert. "Driving Us to Distraction." Time 24 Aug. 2009: 45. General OneFile. Web. 30 Nov. 2009. <http://find.galegroup.com/gps/start.do?prodId=IPS&userGroupName=tlc079053370>.
“ Texting While Driving: The New Drunk Driving” Stephanie Hanes. The Christian Science Monitor. 2009. Page 1. <http://www.csmonitor.com/2009/1105/p25s07-usgn.html>.
"Texting While Driving Increases Crash Risk by 20X." PC Magazine Online 28 July 2009. General OneFile. Web. 30 Nov. 2009. <http://find.galegroup.com/gps/start.do?prodId=IPS&userGroupName=tlc079053370>. “ Should Cellphone Use By Drivers Be Illegal?” The Editors. The New York Times. 2009. Page 1. <http://roomfordebate.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/07/18/should-cellphone-use-by-drivers-be-illegal/>.
Text messaging, like most modern technological devices, has its benefits and drawbacks. One of the most dangerous drawbacks is when people combine text messaging with driving an automobile. In today’s society we’ve all become attached to our cell phones. Cell phones make our lives easier in many ways we can check our email, receive phone calls, send text messages, listen to music, and take pictures, all at our finger tips. With all this convenience, however there is a dangerous side to cell phones, and that’s when we use them while driving. Most of us are guilty of using cell phones while driving, but have we ever thought about its danger? Research has shown that texting while driving increases crash rate by 20x. There are few to none pros of texting while driving except being able to multitask. The reason states want to pass laws is because statistics have shown that using cell phones while driving can be as dangerous as driving under the influence. A study published by the University of Utah shows that drivers using hand-held cell phones are as impaired as drunk drivers. Five states plus Washington D.C. have put hand held bans on cell phones while driving. California, Washington, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Washington D.C. have hand-held bans, and many states have bans for specific drivers. Maine has a ban on cell phone use by drivers under 18 years of age and drivers who have learner’s permits, and those with an immediate drivers license (first two years). Pros:
Although it is not a consistent problem, cell phones do cause wrecks and some have been fatal. The rate of accidents and fatal accidents are slowly rising within our nation and we, as citizens and drivers should take a stand and protest for a law to uphold the initiative of rejecting the use of phones while driving. It not only endangers the driver, but others as well. Some examples of the dangers of text messaging while driving include, a 17 year old driver who was text messaging and collided with a tractor trailer, resulting in five deaths; a Los Angeles teen died in a solo-car accident while texting; and an Indiana teen was driving too fast while texting and wrapped his car around a utility pole. All three examples occurred within the past year. Another fact on this topic is holding a phone to your head limits your field of view, and usually also limits the free movement of your head to look around you. Additionally, the bigger cause of accidents involving cell phones is when people look down to dial the small numbers which take quite a bit of focus to hit meaning longer periods of eyes-off-the-road. Another perspective is texting while driving is now considered the new drunk driving. An example of this is a woman, Linda Doyle, in Oklahoma, died in a car crash where the driver was texting while driving. The driver who killed Linda Doyle was a sober, churchgoing 20-year-old who'd never even had a speeding ticket. He had been on the phone for less than a minute. All these valid, good reasons give the states of America to make laws banning texting while driving.
There are many people who are against laws banning texting while driving. The people have legit reasons for being against it. Some opponents say cell phone bans are simply not enforceable. Others argue that drivers do all sorts of distracting things while driving — like eating, arguing with kids in the back seat, listening to music — so it makes little sense to outlaw one activity. Also, there are people in states, which have already enforced the new law, who still continue to text while driving. It is definitely going to take a lot more than just a law to get people to control this addicting habit. Medical Ethics:
Texting while driving is absolutely related to health care. Texting behind the wheel is dangerous and can cause car accidents resulting in personal injury or wrongful death. Conclusion:
I originally believed that even though texting and talking on the phone while driving is a health concern, it should not be illegal. Not every day is going to be a good day where everything goes perfectly and you might need to use your phone. People might need help with directions. I thought it should be banned around school zones but not everywhere. I now think that texting while driving should be banned. It’s a reckless thing to do. I will definitely preach the harms of texting while driving since there isn’t really a pro.