19 February 2013
How is Dangerous Texting and Driving?
There is a new epidemic out there that kills over sixteen thousand drivers a year. Many teenagers are at fault when it comes to texting and driving, but are not to receive the blame entirely. As much as forty-eight percent of young drivers have witnessed an adult use a phone while driving. A driver who is texting is twenty-three times more likely to get into a car accident than that of a non-texting driver. The minimal time it takes to read a text message is five seconds, if you are traveling at an average speed of fifty-five miles per hour this equals driving the length of a football field without looking. What is even worse is that teens who text and drive spend ten percent of their driving time out of their lane. The big question is why do people take the chance and why can’t it wait?
Year after year the number of accidents that result from texting while driving increases. In 2011, twenty-three percent of car accidents involved cellphones. That is 1.3 million accidents. Families have been broken apart due to simple texts that take their loved ones eyes off of the road. It is said drinking and driving is dangerous because your vision is impaired, slows brain function, and makes you tired. Well when a person is texting while driving they are taking their eyes off the road for a whole five to six seconds to read a message. There are also teens that try and justify texting and driving to make it seem safer when outcome is the same. Teens use the excuse of only texting while at a traffic light, only reading texts instead of sending them, and holding the phone out closer to the windshield. These alternatives are still risky and do not make texting safer. Before drivers look down to read a text message they should ask themselves if that text message is worth risking their life and potentially the life of somebody else.
While people are beginning to see how dangerous texting and driving really is movements have started to stop it. Such laws have come into effect making it illegal to text and drive. So far ten states have prohibited the use of hand held phones all together. Thirty-two states prohibit new drivers from the use of cellphones all together. While there are thirty-nine states that have made it law to prohibit drivers from texting. While the government is doing its part to put a stop to texting and driving parents now have a say with the help of technology. Driving cams can now be installed so parents can monitor their children while they drive to a destination. Also cellular networks are helping out parent with parental controls that keep kids from sending and receiving texts for a certain period of time that, that teen would be driving. It is called AT&T Drive Mode that is the anti-texting and driving app available for smartphones. There is one last approach that seems to have been beneficial for families. Parents have put in their full trust in their children by having them sign a text free driving pledge where the teen and parent sign a contract where the teen agrees to practice safe text-free driving.