A Proposal to the People of the United States
Do you feel comfortable on the roads of your home town knowing that an accident is bound to happen, seeing that one person swerving from lane to lane while they are texting on their phone? The purpose of this research is to make texting while driving illegal in all states in order to put less people at risk of getting into an automobile accident. Texting while driving is an act of sending, writing out, reading or sending texts and emails, and similar usage with the web while operating a motorized vehicle. Texting while driving is seen as a dangerous act and has been out lawed or restricted in most states. This act is the most leading cause of dangerous car accidents and I personally believe that it should be outlawed in all 50 states. There are many articles, news reports, and laws passed on texting while operating a vehicle because of the danger associated with the act. Texting while driving causes numerous of problems such as: distraction from the road, a decrease of attention once he or she turns away from the road in responding to a text, and limiting physical ability because texting requires the use of one or both hands to reply to messages. Vehicle crashes are one of the causes of death for 15-20 year olds and about 6,000 deaths are caused by distracted drivers each year. Solving the problem of texting while driving will reduce the number of accidents. According to statistics about distracted driving, “the percentage of drivers visibly manipulating hand-held devices while driving was higher among females (0.7%) than among males (0.5%)” (NOPUS 2010) This growing trend is mostly among teenagers but all ages confess to surfing the web while driving. Teenagers often think that they are being careful when they are texting while driving behind the wheel with their friends in the car and that it wouldn’t happen to them and believe it is impossible to stop texting while driving. Teenagers and adults do not understand the importance of this subject and it should be put into a law that prohibits texting while driving in all states to terminate this issue before the situation gets worse. Text messaging is banned for all drivers in 41 states and the District of Columbia. In addition, student drivers are banned from texting in 6 states (Mississippi, Missouri, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and Texas) and school bus drivers are banned from text messaging in 3 states (Mississippi, Oklahoma, and Texas). This is clearly not enough to stop this problem. It is unfortunate that a law has to be passed for people to stop texting while driving. “A woman named Heather Lerch, was just 19 years old that recently graduated from high school. Heather was on her way home from work on the night of her crash. While she was driving she was reading and sending a text message on her cell phone and the saddest part was she was just 3 miles from her house. Texting and driving caused Heather to be distracted on the road, so she then lost control of her vehicle and drove through a guardrail. The impact caused the driver’s side door to collapse several feet inside the vehicle which caused Heather to die instantly. Her parents we very devastated of what happened and they said that the accident didn't need to happen nor it shouldn’t have happened. They share this accident to the world and say ''No conversation on a cell phone is worth your life. Please don't text and drive.''(Brittany Backrog 2012) People are going through a rough time in life when they shouldn't have to; it can be prevented. There is a huge difference between an accident and accident waiting to happen. If everyone can participate and agree that texting and driving should be illegal in all states, then there is a possibility where the percentage of deaths because of this situation may decrease by a lot. With all the hands-free devices and other opportunities provided within the past few years to communicate while driving, many people still do not take the law seriously and continue to look the other way. Drivers do not think about the dangerous consequences they can get from having a person slam on their brakes. You did not see the car in front of you because you were distracted using your mobile device and suddenly smash into them, putting both you and all the other people in the car in front of you at risk for getting hurt because you were not paying attention. No text should risk your safety in a vehicle. There are different solutions to go about sending a message while driving but many people are not using their sources. To avoid distracted driving accidents, drivers should invest in new technologies such as hands-free and Bluetooth devices that allow them to keep their eyes on the road and avoid crashes. If you think you can’t stop texting and driving, you can. There are many solutions to prevent it. You can always pull over to the side of the road or the nearest place if needed to text someone. Another way is when you are in the car, put your phone where you are not able to reach it and find a place where you could put your cell where you won’t even be tempted to look for it. Make it to where your cellular device becomes out of sight and out of mind. Putting your phone on silent when you are in the car is another way to prevent texting and driving. The less you hear your phone, the less you are tempted to respond. The last resort to the problem is voice command. This feature is provided in many newer cell phones to prevent to have to look at the screen.
With all the stories of tragic car accidents happening as a direct result of distracted driving, teens and adults are still texting at the wheel. It’s insane how an online survey of 1,999 teens ages 16-19 found that 86% had driven while distracted even though 84% know it is dangerous. Here are some facts that have been discovered about texting and driving: “48% of young drivers have seen their parents drive while talking on a cell phone; 27% of adults have sent or received text messages driving; 34% of teens who drive while distracted simply say they're used to multitasking; 13% of drivers ages 18-20 involved in car wrecks admitted to texting or talking on their mobile devices at the time of their crash. A big temptation for teens is that some don't think it is a problem. 77% of adults are very somewhat confident that they can safely text while driving and 55% of young adult drivers claim it is easy to text while they drive.”(Brittany Backrog 2012) Every state should have the texting ban law. It might not make changes right now, but for the younger generations it will be an educational tool, just like the seatbelt law. They all fought against seat belts years ago, but now everyone wears seat belts. The kids will be trained and learned from a young age that they cannot text and drive. It is scary knowing our lives are in danger and we should find a way to get those distracted drivers off the roads before something tragic happens to you, your family member, your closest friend, your wife or any one you know. Therefore texting and driving should be illegal in all states for safety reasons.
Written by: Callie DeSousa, Maria Farella
Wells, Charlie “Texas accident victim devoting himself to ending texting while driving “New York Daily News N.P., 2 August 2012 Web. 1 June 2013
Williams, Todd “It Is Time For A 'Parental Control, No Texting While Driving' Phone” Forbes.com N.P., 18 September 2012 Web. 2 June 2013
“Drivers May Be Unaware of Texting Habit: Study” Insurance Journal. National News, 27 September 2012, N.P., Web. 1 June 2013
Dean, Zach “Take the Pledge: Texting and Driving, It Can Wait” Huffington Post Official Site, N.P., 20 September 2012 Web. 1 June 2013
Vergara, Lisajoyce “Driver Electronic Device Use in 2010” Traffic Safety Facts, N.P., 2011 December Web. 1 June 2013