Texting While Driving
Car accidents involving cell phone use and/or texting while driving were not a problem previously, but recently action has been taken to show how dangerous it is to text and drive. The public is now slowly being more aware while driving. While the popularity of mobile phones has grown enormously in the past two decades, it’s still unclear how greatly cell phone calls and texting contribute to car crashes. What is clear is that talking on the phone and texting behind the wheel both lead to distraction, and driver inattention is the leading cause of car accidents.
The percentage of drivers who were using a cell phone (texting or manipulating it in some way) increased to 0. 9% in 2010. The percentage of drivers using a cell phone while holding it to their ears was 5% in 2010. The level of hand-held cell phone use was higher among female drivers than it was for male drivers. To back up accidents that happens more in the teen’s population, younger drivers’ ages from 16 to 24 are more likely to use a hand-held cell phone. There were 3,092 deaths in distraction-related accidents in 2010, but the number is likely much higher now in present time. Driver Electronic Device Use, 2010) There are several statistics out there to prove driving while texting is a distraction and will lose focus resulting an increased risk of an accident. About 6,000 deaths and a half a million injuries are caused by distracted drivers every year. While teenagers are texting, they spend about ten percent of the time outside the driving lane they’re supposed to be in. Talking on a cell phone while driving can make a young driver’s reaction time as slow as that of a 70 year old. Answering a text message takes away the attention of the driver for about five seconds.
That is about enough time to fail to react fast enough when a football is about to hit your face. The under 20 age group had the highest percentage of distracted drivers. 16% of drivers under 20 years old involved in fatal crashes were distracted while driving. (Texting While Driving Statistics, 2009) Research reveals that 46% of drivers under 18 admit to texting while driving. Driver distraction is a factor in 25 to 50% of all car accidents, with 61% of teen drivers admitting to risky driving habits. When continuing this habit, other risk factors may be including failing to buckle up and driving after they have been drinking.
Teens who texted while driving were five times more likely than those who didn’t to drive when they had been drinking alcohol; And the more they texted the worse their seat belt habit consists. Teens who texted every day while driving during the past month were more than 40% more likely to not always wear their seat belts than were teens who engaged in texting while driving once or twice in the past 30 days. The best way to end distracted driving is to educate all Americans about the danger it poses. There are facts and statistics out there that are powerfully persuasive.
If you don’t already think distracted driving is a safety problem, please take a moment to learn more. Please share these facts with others by raising awareness to others surrounding us. Together, we can help save lives. (Distraction. Gov, 2011) Distracted driving is any activity that could divert a person’s attention away from the primary task of driving. All distractions endanger driver, passenger, and bystander safety. Because text messaging requires visual, manual, and cognitive attention from the driver, it is by far the most alarming distraction.
In 2011, 3,331 people were killed in crashes involving a distracted driver, compared to 3,267 in 2010. An additional, 387,000 people were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving a distracted driver, compared to 416,000 injured in 2010. (Cell Phone and Distracted Driving Statistics, 2009) As of June 2012, 39 States have enacted anti texting laws, and 10 States have passed laws banning all hand-held phone use by drivers. A study conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Motorists found that motorists who use cell phones while driving are four times more likely to get into crashes serious enough to injure themselves.
One way to help address the problem is to encourage the remaining 11 States to pass anti texting laws. Distraction affected crashes are preventable. Distracted driving does not just happen it is a choice. Working together, we can all help reduce driver distraction, save lives, and prevent injuries. (Study Reveals the Dangers of Texting While Driving, 2012) While progress has been made in the fight to end distracted driving, there is much more to do to end this dangerous practice. Just the act of dialing a cell phone increases crash risk by three times. The question is how are you going to ban this distraction when it is so hard to enforce?
Individuals can have the usage of electronic devices without anyone seeing them. What if, individuals aren’t texting or dialing on a cellphone? What if they are using some other electronic device such as an mp3 player or any other electronic device? In the present time, people are now using iPods or mp3 player that connects to the stereo of the vehicle. Individuals may be looking like they are using a cellphone, but they aren’t. They are just changing the song. This is still a distraction. Now, should a law be made as only no cellphone usage or as no hand held electronic device usage while driving?
Drivers could still text while sitting at a red light or while pulled over on the road shoulder. For many of us, when we hear that message pop up and surprises us, we find it hard to resist checking our phones, even if it means putting our own lives and the lives around us at jeopardy. No matter where the phone is placed, whether it is on the dash board or on the steering wheel, one’s eyes are not where they need to be. People’s eyes are suppose to be one the road at all times. Texting takes that away and it doesn’t matter how quick someone thinks they are, there is always a possibility.
Just for that split second of reading a message that is o so important, a crash could happen. Eyes are the most important thing needed when driving and when not on the road a lot of harm can be caused. Yes some people are able to text without looking at their phones, and they might think it is safe, but it isn’t. Just because someone’s eyes aren’t on the phone doesn’t mean their focus isn’t. A person’s eye might be on the road, but their focus is on what they are saying in that message. While they are trying to make sure they hit the right key on their phone they’re not noticing the people they are putting people’s lives in harms way.