The invention of the mobile phone was a wonderful accomplishment for mankind, but sadly it can be risky, if not used safely. When behind the wheel of a motor car, any practical use of a mobile phone has proved to be a dangerous diversion. Texting while driving is a deadly concoction that takes more than 3,000 lives a year. According to a study, texting takes your mind off the road for about 5 seconds. Texting and driving are considered risky because it combines visual, manual and cognitive disturbances, raising the risk of a crash to 23 times as much as if the driver was driving undistracted. With texting and driving being this dangerous one might think that society would avoid the temptation. Unfortunately, the problem isn’t going away; instead, available records indicate a continued rise in injuries and fatalities caused by texting while driving. However, there is an ample amount of effort to decrease the number of people texting behind the wheel.
Texting while driving is one of the most significant issues the modern world faces today, and it is going to take a group effort to fix. However, although there is no adequate literature on the dangers of driving while texting from a mobile phone, it is growing. Arguably, retrieving and sending text messages has adverse effects on safety-critical driving measures according to a simulation research at the Monash University. It significantly affects the driver’s ability in identifying and response to signs on the road, influences the amount of time being spent distracted from the road, identifying hazards, and vehicle positioning. A similar study at the University of Utah found out that there is increased distraction when texting, an aspect that leads to accidents (Dutton 2017). Ironically, despite having knowledge of the dangers of texting when driving, drivers, mainly between 16 and 24 years admit to texting behind the wheel.
Statistics from the National Safety Council show that one out of every four car accidents is caused by texting and driving in the United States. It is of the essence to acknowledge the fact that texting while driving has received considerable attention in recent time; however, this has been as a result of a significant rise in car crashes caused by texting drivers. Although the use of mobile devices has extensive benefits, they also have unintended and dangerous consequences. In this case, it has brought about injuries and even loss of life due to increased distraction when driving. Of great significance it that the most affected population by this phenomenon ranges between 15 and 24 years, a problem purported to exceed the dangers of drunk driving (Jacob, 2013). Studies conducted on the number of accidents caused by drivers above this age is relatively low considering that adults take texting while driving as dangerous as drunken driving.
Evidently, there are laws passed that prohibit texting and the general use of mobile phones while driving in many states in the United States. The provisions are almost similar across most jurisdictions; for instance, all drivers, except for an emergency vehicle must not use mobile phones while the vehicle is moving. Moreover, provisional and learner drivers are banned from completely using mobile phones while in control of the car. These laws do not apply only if the driver is using a hands-free device. However, the public is reluctant to follow such admonitions, despite the deadly consequences of such behavior. Therefore, it is essential to strengthen the existing laws against texting while driving in efforts to reduce its adverse effects dramatically (Ramasubbu, 2015). It is critical to realize that the current bans are not enough and have not been effective since the incidences of distracted driving injuries and fatalities continue to rise steadily.
To begin with, everyday driver views the current laws are vague; in addition, in comparison to the addictive nature of mobile devices, the power of texting bans are pale. As such, we should consider laws that would completely ban cell phones from being visible when one is driving. According to research, although one might still be tempted, the expression of out of sight, out of mind has a lot of truth. With the science of compulsion and addiction, self-control, and the dangers we know about texting while driving, such provisions will significantly reduce accidents. Moreover, some companies should work to create advanced technology that will restrict the use of mobile phones while driving, which is based on the device’s GPS signal. Another suggestion is the use of technology to detect texting and driving, where drivers caught will be charged a higher premium. However, given political realities it will take time before such laws are introduced; it might take thousands of more injuries and deaths.
Critics, on the other hand, argue that texting and driving should not be made illegal since not every bad habit can be solved with laws. Additionally, they claim that people are looking at statistics in the wrong way; it is not possible to compare the number of injuries and deaths from years ago. Individuals drive more every year, an aspect that makes deaths in a proposition to passenger miles the better indicator than overall fatalities of road safety. Critics add that there are multiple other driver distractions such as eating or drinking while driving and having kids in the back seat. Therefore, it is not certain that banning texting and driving will translate into reduced accidents and make people safer. The laws put in place are also vague, which makes it difficult for the state officials to enforce; for instance, while the law bans texting, it allows reading texts while driving (Jacob, 2013). It is, however, important to recognize that critics do not support or defend texting and driving.
However, it is crucial for people to take texting and driving seriously considering its devastating effects on the country. According to statistics, texting while driving has been considered the leading cause of car accidents, especially among young teenage drivers. While most people claim that it does not affect them personally, it has exceeded today to a point of being considered more dangerous than drinking and driving. Moreover, texting and driving should be viewed as an indication of how technology has affected the lives of the individual. Mobile devices have been associated with addiction and compulsive behavior, where it is difficult to keep away. There is no text that is worth the risk of endangering a person’s life and the life of others. It is, therefore, to take measures that will help reduce such incidences; for example, young adults should be educated about the impacts of distracted driving (Ramasubbu, 2015). At the same time, new and tougher laws should be enforced against texting behind the wheel.
For many years, drunken driving has been considered dangerous where stricter laws have been passed to decrease accidents. However, texting and driving is quickly taking its place as it is an increasing hazard for motorists. The difference between the two is that while texting and driving takes your eyes off the road, drunk driving impairs your senses and makes one react slower to everything. Furthermore, it is difficult to maintain a safe driving distance between vehicles when texting compared to when at the legal limit for alcohol consumption. However, it is essential to realize that texting and drinking while driving are dangerous as they increase the chances of accidents, an aspect that causes injuries and even deaths. Additionally, they are both illegal in many states where there are laws against drunk driving and texting while driving (Dutton 2017). Although texting and driving has recently taken the lace to become the most dangerous than drunk driving, neither should be an option for any driver.
In conclusion, texting and driving bring about three forms of distraction, which are visual, cognitive and manual. As a result, there are increased chances of causing road accidents, leading to injuries and even deaths. It is essential to recognize that there are laws against texting while driving, which has played a role in reducing the incidences. However, the change is not that significant, an aspect that calls for stricter laws to be enforced. Consequently, since most cases of texting and driving involve young teenage drivers, it is essential to educate them on the consequences of distracted driving. Critics, however, argue that not every bad habit is solved by introducing new laws; also, there are multiple distractions, which include eating while driving and having kids in the back seat. Therefore, texting and driving should not be made illegal; rather, technology should be incorporated to discourage drivers from using their mobile phones behind the wheel.
Dutton, Harold. “Texting and Driving: Opposing View.” USA Today, Gannett Satellite
Information Network, 27 Feb. 2017,www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2017/02/27/texas-
Ramasubbu, Suren. “The Dangers of Texting While Driving.” The Huffington Post,
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Jacob, Masters. “Texting While Driving Vs. Drunk Driving: Which Is More Dangerous?” Brain
Injury Society, 6 Nov. 2013, www.bisociety.org/texting-while-driving-vs-drunk-driving- which-is-more-dangerous/.