Texting While Driving: A Deadly Dilemma

Topics: Law of the United States, United States, Mobile phone Pages: 4 (1033 words) Published: October 2, 2014

Makeda Reid
Professor Taylor
MLA Research 2150
17 November 2011

Texting While Driving: A Deadly Dilemma
When Gary Golatas climbed into the passenger seat of Allyson P. Smitter’s sports car on the morning of July 4, 2011, he had no idea that she would be taking him for his last ride. According to an article in the Terlingua Daily Express, Golatas, 17, and Smitter, 18, had planned a holiday excursion to festivities in nearby Appaloosa County. Six months later, it was no holiday when a Kiva County grand jury indicted Smitter for vehicular homicide (Buck A1+). Witnesses testified that Smitter was texting while driving along State Route 90 on that July 4. She went into a skid while trying to avoid a van attempting to make a left turn in front of her, but she slammed into it. Golatas was killed, as were two young children in the van. The children’s mother and driver of the other car, Daniella Simpson, was seriously injured, is now paralyzed, and “sentenced to spend the rest of her life confined to a wheelchair” (Kingman 111). This tragedy might have been avoided if the United States had a national law prohibiting texting while driving, strictly enforced such a law, and established stiff penalties for those convicted of breaking it.

Texting, statistics prove, is not only rising but creating problems on the nation’s highways. In the United States, texting increased from 9.8 billion messages a month in January of 2009 to 99.4 billion in January of 2010 (Bandelier 28). As quoted in “Time for a Change,” researcher Alan M. Tercero claims, “As many as 70 percent of those messages are being sent by people driving cars” (Automotive Review Council 29). An insurance accident investigator, Barry G. Hulicki, says that drivers using cell phones were involved in 22 percent of the fatal automobile accidents that occurred in 2011. Hulicki also cites law-enforcement and traffic-safety personnel as predicting that this percentage could rise as much as two percent per...
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