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Texting While Driving

By speedfreak1959 Mar 12, 2015 2375 Words
Stephen Hayes
English Comp I
Mrs. Daniels
Texting While Driving is Dangerous
A split second is all it takes to send a text. A split second is all it takes to end a life. Most of us don’t think of the dangers that can occur when sending a text while driving. Imagine a sixteen year old teenager, driving on the roads; all of a sudden the teen receives a text from a friend. A split second later, an accident occurs; the teen that couldn’t wait to send a text has just slammed into the back of a semi-truck; this accident ends the life of a kid that had so much life left to live. The grieving family is left to wonder how this tragedy could have been prevented. The answer is not as easy as it seems: stop everyone from texting while driving. An accident occurring because of a person sending a text while driving is like shooting a gun, except the gun is a two ton gun in the form of a car. Under New York State law you cannot use a hand-held mobile telephone or send a text or an email while you drive. If you use a hand-held mobile telephone while you drive (except to call 911 or to contact medical, fire or police personnel about an emergency) or use a device to text or send email, you can receive a traffic ticket and be subject to a fine and a surcharge. Conviction of a cell phone use or texting violation will also result in points being added to your DMV driving record.  If you receive 11 points in an 18 month period, ones driver license may be suspended (New York Department of Motor Vehicles). Another way one’s life may be impacted permanently is their license may be revoked as to where they can’t get it back. Hosking and colleagues (2009) investigated the effects of using a cell phone on the driving performance of young novice drivers.  Twenty inexperienced drivers used a cell phone to retrieve and send text messages while driving a simulator.  The researchers found when text messaging drivers spent up to approximately 400% less time looking at the road as compared to time looking at the road recorded in baseline (non-text-messaging) conditions. Additionally, text messaging drivers variability in lane position increased up to approximately 50%, and missed lane changes increased 140%. Research has shown that the risk of crashing while text messaging and driving is more than double that of talking on a cell phone. Research conducted by Drews and colleagues (2009) looked at the influence text messaging has on simulated driving performance.   Forty participants engaged in both a single task (driving) and a dual task (driving and text messaging) in a driving simulator.  Participants in the driving & text messaging condition responded more slowly to the flash of brake lights and showed less forward and lateral control compared with a driving-only condition. Text-messaging drivers were also involved in more crashes than non-text messaging drivers. Drews concluded that text messaging has a negative impact on simulated driving performance (Jamie Hale). The laws governing cell phone usage while driving in Washington just got a little tougher this summer. Following the trend for states to ban texting and using handheld cell phones while driving, Washington is upping the ante. After a two-year grace period, police officers in the state can now pull over drivers just for texting or talking on a cell phone without using a hands-free device while driving, according to The Olvmpidti in Olympia, Washington Under the old law. That was considered a secondary offense and officers would only write a ticket for it if drivers were getting pulled over for something else, Ihc newspaper reports. But now it's different. Drivers caught chatting on cell phones without a hands-free device can get a $124 ticket, according to The Seattle Times. Washington’s new state law also makes it tougher for new drivers with learner's permits and for those with intermediate licenses —they cannot use a cell phone while driving even if they have a hands-free device, the newspaper reports. Emergencies are an exception. Other exceptions include people with hearing aids, making a 911 call or using a cell phone's speaker mode and holding it in front of the mouth, The Seattle Times reports. It's also still legal for taxi drivers, bus drivers and emergency responders to talk on radios while driving, the newspaper said. Twenty-eight states and Washington, D.C, have laws against texting while driving, while seven states and Washington, DC, made it illegal to use hand-held devices while driving, according to The Dallas Morning News. Late last year. President Obama even banned texting and driving for federal workers on government business (The Dallas Morning News).

There are many dangers and effects of texting while driving such as injuries. Though some injuries are not visible, it doesn’t mean a person was not injured. Unseen injuries are not uncommon in an accident. A person could suffer from short term memory loss, permanent brain damage, or they even can develop a fear of driving as a result of sustaining trauma from the accident. Sending text messaging while driving distracts attention from the main task: driving the car safely. Text messaging sometimes contributes to deadly accidents, which has prompted several jurisdictions to ban the practice. The reasons people text while driving can be difficult to pin down, but the effects of it are visible on the roads and in the news. Text messaging is prevalent in our connected society: Americans send upwards of 100 billion text messages every month. Some of these go out while the sender is behind the wheel of a car. The reasons for this can include any number of situations, including convenience. Sending someone a brief text is easier, and sometimes faster, than calling them. All modern cell phones can send and receive texts, making it an efficient method of communicating. Texting while driving distracts drivers from the road. A study by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute claimed that drivers who texted behind the wheel were 23 times more likely to be involved in a serious accident compared with drivers who made phone calls, which increased their risk of accident six times. Talking on the phone can take concentration off the road. When a driver looks down at their phone to text, they also take their eyes off the road. Most people are aware of the questions about the dangers of driving while intoxicated, but what about driving while intexticated? Intexticafion, says California Highway Patrol officer Brian Pennings, occurs when someone becomes disengaged with his/her surroundings because he or she is too mentally occupied with a cell phone. While intextication can cause people to make mistakes at home or at work, its most serious cases generally occur while driving. According to Pennings, drivers who are texting are twice as likely to crash as those driving under the influence of alcohol (Brian Pennings). Another way texting and driving affects the outcome of the accident is property damage whether it’s personal property damage such as a vehicle or a home. There are also damages to public communities such as damaged schools, churches, hospitals, or restaurants. Whenever an accident occurs, most of us think it is just a bump to the rear end of a car; but sometimes it is extremely severe, too. The choices that a driver makes are very important and whether they choose the right one is a different story; for example a male driving down the road was just listening to music and paying attention; a text had been received, the driver took their eyes off the road. A few split seconds later an accident occurs. The car is totaled; the guy is in the hospital in very critical conditions. Instead of waiting to send the text, the driver gave into temptation. Such temptation as texting and driving results in bad habits. Tragedy sometimes strikes at the most inconvenient times leading us to believe texting and driving is bad for the nation. Many laws have been put in place in order to prevent texting while driving; however, because people are stubborn, there will always be the select few that don’t follow the laws of texting and driving in the United States of America. At any given time during daylight hours, 660,000 drivers in the United States use cell phones. Whether it’s texting, taking a phone call, or sending emails, cell phone use is associated with higher rates of dangerous or fatal car crashes. Accidents involving drivers using their cell phones are avoidable, but many people put everyone’s safety at risk by ignoring laws against distracted driving. It was normal for people to drive drunk and not bother to wear a seatbelt 50 years ago. Eventually, everyone realized how bad of an idea this was and now driving drunk and not wearing a seatbelt are both illegal. Today, many argue that texting while driving is just as bad, if not worse, than driving drunk. Using a cell phone while driving is now illegal in certain states across the country. "Thirty-eight states have laws restricting or outlawing the use of electronic devices while driving," U.S. Transportation Secretary, Ray LaHood said last year. But people still use their cell phones while driving. We should remember these nine people who lost their lives because of texting while driving (Kevin Smith). Death is a scary phase of a person’s life; most of us are scared of it. Although some embrace the thought of death, some go into a deep depression mode when faced with a death in their lives. Many people when sending a text while driving tend to take their eyes off the road just long enough for them to hit an animal such as a squirrel. Though they may not get in trouble for killing a squirrel, the chances of them getting in trouble for killing another animal increase. Another way death is involved with texting and driving is killing a pedestrian; for example a person may be jogging along the side of the road. A car passes by and kills them; why does this occur? More than 65% of the time it’s because the driver was either reading a text, or sending a text. Every day a person is killed because of someone texting and driving. Life is too short to be taking away a person’s life by texting and driving. It is imperative that one understands the dangers of texting and driving. It is dangerous because it can cause self-injury and cause injuries to others. If it is an injury to another person, perhaps it affects a person by an injury to a family member or a friend. It also causes a person to lose or have their license suspended, all because they couldn’t wait to send a text and they caused an injury or even killed a person. It can permanently impact the lives of all citizens by legislature passing new laws whether it is statewide or nationwide on banning texting while driving. It is important we understand that by our selfishness and stupidity, can not only affect our lives and surroundings, but the lives of others as well. Texting and driving also causes unseen injuries as well as physical injuries. For example, a person was driving and they get into an accident and suffer brain damage and the other driver wasn’t paying attention because they were sending a text. This is a very serious subject because it makes us all feel guilty as well as think about if we were involved in an accident or what if a family member was involved? Perhaps then we would understand the true meaning and understanding of “don’t text and drive” because it should be illegal in every state. We all should remember the saying “A split second, is all it takes to send a text. A split second, is all it takes to end a life”. Whether we know it or not, most of us don’t think about it while we’re driving that 75% of the time were probably texting too. Let’s learn to be leaders and set an example for the generations to come, because we all know that the younger generations have more bad habits, but maybe this is one we can knock out.

(I) Introduction: Texting While Driving is Dangerous
Thesis Statement
(II) Permanent Life Impact
A. How does Texting while driving permanently impact lives of ourselves 1. Driving privileges revoked or suspended
B. How does texting while driving impact lives of others permanently 1. Laws affecting all citizens.
2. State laws or nationwide laws.
(III) Texting while driving is dangerous because it causes injuries both physical and mental as well as temporary and permanent. A. Injuries Unseen
1. Memory loss/brain damage
2. Fear of driving
B. Physical injuries
1. Self-Injuries
2. Other injuries
(IV) Damages sustained to property as result of texting while driving A. Property damage(personal)
1. Vehicle
2. Home
B. Property Damage (public)
1. Businesses (restaurants, pharmacies)
2. Community (schools, hospital, mailman)
(V) The ultimate danger of texting while driving is it can cause fatalities A. Fatalities to self
1. Family
2. Friends
B. Others
1. Stranger
2. Animal
(VI) Conclusion
Finally it is imperative to understand the dangers of texting while driving presents to the drivers and their surroundings.

"Cell Phone Use & Texting." New York State DMV. Web. 8 Dec. 2014. Hale, Jamie. "The Dangers of Texting While Driving." Psych 1 Mar. 2011. Web. 8 Dec. 2014.
"New Approaches To End Texting While Driving." " Professional Safety 58.9 (2013): 16. \ MasterFILE Premier. Web. 10 Dec. 2014.
Reynolds, Jennifer. "The Cause & Effects of Texting While Driving." EHow. Demand Media, 24 May 2011. Web. 8 Dec. 2014. Smith, Kevin. "What We Learned From 9 People Who Died Because Of Texting." Business Insider. Business Insider, Inc, 26 Apr. 2013. Web. 10 Dec. 2014. "Washington Toughens Laws On Texting, Talking While Driving." Capitol Ideas 53.4 (2010): 9. MasterFILE Premier. Web. 8 Dec. 2014

Zeman, Eric. "Washington State Is First To Ban Texting While Driving." Informationweek 1139 (2007): 4. MasterFILE Premier. Web. 8 Dec.

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