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Texting While Driving Needs To Come To A Stop
Is it really that important to stay connected during every hour of the day? According to Ian Mulgrew, a journalist/author from Canada, many accidents are blamed on distracted driving and most of the distractions are caused by cell phone usage. (Mulgrew) Many drivers today have such busy lives and never have time to get the things they need to do completed in one day’s time. This leaves them to get things done while on the road. Checking emails is a top priority for Americans and since many havsmartphonees, they will do it on the road as well as send text messages.There are many laws being established to try to prevent distracted driving from happening, although they can’t completely stop it. No matter what age the driver is, under no circumstance should they be texting while driving.
Texting or using a cell phone while driving is very hazardous to yourself and the people surrounding you. One reason the majority of people are against this action is because it causes a great amount of car accidents every year. (Copeland) While driving, adults and teenagers cannot resist the urge to pick up their cell phone and send a text or respond to one. When the driver hears the vibrate or ring, nothing can stop them from checking the notification on their phone. As soon as the driver’s eyes meet their cellular device, their focus on the road is drawn away. In 2009, 5,474 lives were taken and 448,000 people got injured from car accidents from being distracted while driving, says the government. (Copeland) The lives of innocent people are being taken every day due to a simple distraction. Car crashes are four times more common to take place while the driver is on their mobile device over any other causes. (Mulgrew) Different states have particular views on the laws put into effect about texting while driving. The state of Utah has a law established stating that if a driver is texting while driving and winds up crashing, they will spend fifteen years in jail. (Mulgrew) Most people don’t seem to realize how careless they can be while driving a car. According to Bret Schulte, talking on a cell phone is not as dangerous as texting these days. (Schulte) While talking on the phone, it is easier to still keep focused on the road in front of the driver. When they engage in a text message, it’s not possible to look in both directions at once, therefore all of their focus goes straight to the screen of the cell phone. It’s hard for all drivers, especially teenagers, to put down the cell phone and put their hands on the wheel, which results in many car crashes.
Not only is texting while behind the wheel bad enough itself, many people compare the danger level to drunk driving. Driving while intoxicated at the same time is illegal, just as some believe texting while driving should be as well. Larry Copeland states that after a study was conducted at The University of Utah, it showed that driving with a blood-alcohol content of 0.08% is equal to texting and driving. Although, 0.08% is very close to breaking the law in that state. Drunk driving is another top cause of car accidents that happen every day. If people were more aware of how closely related texting while driving and drunk driving are, it would help to inform all drivers on safety behind the wheel. All of these hazards on the road are making other drivers very nervous. According to a survey taken by the The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, 52% of drivers on the road today feel at risk when driving compared to five years ago. One year before, only 40% were said to feel unsafe, having a 17% increase from year to year. (Copeland) Not only are distracted drivers harming themselves, yet they are putting every other driver on the road in the same dangerous position without realizing it.
Even though the majority of people are in favor of laws that ban texting while driving, some may have opposing views. Why would anyone be against laws that are made only to increase the safety of drivers? Stephanie Hanes states that laws enforced to ban texting while driving have failed to decrease the number of car crashes, and even increased the amount in some places. (Hanes) One problem with the law is that there is not enough enforcement and it does not come as much of a threat to drivers. Devices that allow parents to track teenagers while driving are thought to be most useful instead of wasting time making laws. (Hanes) “Texting bans haven’t reduced crashes at all,” says Adrian Lund. (Copeland) Just as Lund stated, some people feel the bans are useless and shouldn’t be put into effect in the first place. After a law was placed in California banning the use of text messaging while driving, the amount doubled, found by a study conducted by the Automobile Club of Southern California. (Hanes) As much as the government tries to prohibit texting while driving, they cannot stop it. There are some people who truly feel the laws against texting behind the wheel are not effective.
Texting while driving puts many driver’s lives in danger daily. Multiple people feel that staying connected to the outside world is more important than focusing on the road ahead, although it isn’t. It can harm others on the road who are doing nothing other than trying to make it to their destination safely. If people would open their eyes to the dangers of texting while driving, less car accidents would take place every year and the roads would be much safer. Distracted drivers need to know the position they put others in as well as themselves. While behind the wheel, drivers should never direct their attention to their cell phone and should always keep their eyes on the road.
Copeland, Larry. “‘Awareness gap’ on road texting.” USA Today Sept. 2010: 03A Gale Opposing Viewpoints In Contex. Web. 18 Apr. 2012.
Copeland, Larry. “Texting bans may add risk to roads.” USA Today 28 Sept. 2010 01A. Gale Opposing Viewpoints In Contex. Web. 18 Apr. 2012.
Hanes, Stephanie. “Bans on texting while driving don’t reduce crashes, study says.” Christian Science Moniter 28 Sept. 2010. Gale Opposing Viewpoints In Contex. Web. 16 Apr. 2012
Mulgrew, Ian. “Cell Phone Use While Driving Needs Stiff Penalties.” Cell Phones and Driving. Ed. Stefan Kiesbye. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2011. At Issue. Rpt. from “Ticket for Using a Cellphone While Driving Doesn’t Go Far Enough.” Vancouver Sun 9 Nov. 2009. Gale Opposing Viewpoints In Context. Web. 18 Apr. 2012.
Schutle, Bret. “States Should Try to Curb Teen Texting and Driving.” Opposing Viewpoints Online Collection. Gale, Cengage Learning. Rpt. from “Outlawing Text Messaging WHile Driving: Legislators in Several States Respond to Safety Concerns.” U.S. News & World Report (11 Feb. 2008). Gale Opposing Viewpoints In Context. Web. 16 Apr. 2012