Cell phones play a prominent role in society. Approximately 91% of adults report owning a mobile phone (Journal of Experimental Psychology, Human Perception & Performance). Societies rely on smartphones for keeping in touch with families, friends, establishing business and personal fun. Among all the reasons, one of the common use of cell phone is to text anyone immediately.
While society relies so heavily on smartphones, we must be careful and not allow smartphones to rule us, especially while we are driving because texting while driving is not only a crime, it is dangerous to life. And the purpose of this capstone paper is to discover texting while driving as the leading cause of automobile accidents that we have today and some of the ways to prevent this accident.
Recent statistics shows most car accident happen due to texting while driving. Approximately 390,000 injuries occurs each year due to texting and driving. Also, 1 from 4 accident in road happen due to texting and driving (Texting and Driving Accident Statistics – Distracted Driving).
Almost all types of accident happens when someone loses their focus. When texting our focus is away from road for more than 5 second. It is 400 percent more time spent off the road than any other distracted driving.( Texting and Driving Accident Statistics – Distracted Driving). These momentary lapses can lead to a vehicle accident or injury, as well as death.
In the journal article, “Adults Text and Drive More Than Teens Survey Suggests” researchers found that texting while driving is hazardous and common amongst teens (Adults text and drive more than teens survey suggests, 2010 ) . Teens who have just started to drive and think they can multitask. Multitasking is easy when we involve one non thinking task with one thinking task like cooking and listening to music, but texting and driving both are non-thinking task they both require attention from our mind at the same time and it is impossible for our brain to function like that. So, multitasking is almost impossible especially for texting and driving.
Learning to drive and getting a driver’s license is a right of passage for teens. The ability to drive brings with it a sense of freedom, excitement, and a feeling of being a grown up. However, with great power comes responsibility. The responsibility of driving a car is far greater than the momentary excitement and freedom that comes with it. With all the social media pressure like being active on snapchat, messenger, Instagram, and so much more with which a teenager is exposed, it is imperative for one to understand why it is so important to keep things simple. A great way to address the problem of texting while driving is teaching teens about texting while driving while they earn their valid driver license. Education about why we should focus on the road and avoid distractions should be taught to before giving anyone a license. There should be classes to teach them skills from professionals. Parents and school should initiate discussion about risk of texting while driving, inside and outside classroom. There should be counselling about this topic because some children might not be able to discussion properly about their poor driving habits. Implementing just these simple things can avoid so many car accidents and deaths almost about 2,715 deaths each year (Teenagers, 2017).
The dangers of texting while driving are well documented. In a survey by AT&T, 49 people out of 100 admitted they use cell phones while driving. They also found from the same survey 90 percent of people know the risk of texting while driving yet they do it. (Dangers of texting while driving). From that research, experts came to the conclusion that checking our cell phones every time we get text message makes our brain alert and forces us to look at them because it makes us feel happy. In that momentary happiness the driver tend to lose control and focus frequently.
It is well documented that drinking while driving kills and not wearing a seatbelt is dangerous.There is actual well established laws on wearing seat belt and drunk driving. While little emphasis has covered the topic of texting and driving. For example, the punishment for drunk driving is as severe as life sentence or punishment from two to fifteen years and more. But the punishment for texting and driving is not so severe, it is about few days or up to 30 days of jail (Should Penalties for Texting and Driving Accidents Be as Severe as Drunk Driving?, 2019). If the accident involves death and injury, punishment must be given equal to both the drivers. Strict laws should be given for both the issues to reduce accidents and fatalities.
The government has made efforts to spread awareness on texting while driving. The National Safety Council has declared April as National Distracted Driving Awareness Month. Further, the Federal Communication Commission has joined in this effort to raise awareness of the dangers of distracted driving (Federal Communications Commission, 2018). They also provided ways to stay safe on the roads. States are responsible for making the laws regarding distracted driving. This includes texting while driving. Many states have laws against texting or talking on a cell phone, as well as other distractions while driving. But most people do not care about this laws and prefer to pay fines. The severity of these law should be made compulsory. This issue requires more support from government and people. If society hopes to fix the problem, it will be eliminated soon.
The advancement of technology and misuse of it have created the problem of texting while driving. That is not to say that technology is all bad. There is many useful things like machines designed to help us, washer, dryer and every appliances which help us to live an easier life is what we get from technology. Also the use of technology has given exposure to so many website which are beneficial to us. Sites on the internet exist that help to spread awareness regarding the issue of texting while driving. These sites provide ways that we can prevent texting while driving. Stoptextsstopwrecks.org provides many useful tips on how not to get distracted while driving. One of the useful tips from the website is “out of sight, out of mind.” It was in the site that it takes 5 second focus to text and 27 second of focus to recover that focus after hanging up on phone.If the phone is out of sight where we cannot reach to it, we save those second of distraction and reduce the risk. This is a simple tip but is effective. (Stop Texts Stop Wrecks)
The use of Bluetooth allows the driver to listen to their text instead of getting distracted by looking at the phone. The invention of Bluetooth syncing in a cars is also helpful, because it an easy and automatic connection of our cell phone to hands free headset (How to Pair a Bluetooth Cell Phone with Your Car, 2018).
While purchasing a car with Bluetooth syncing capabilities, it is not economically feasible for some, most can buy Bluetooth headphones or a device which works the same way. Prices for bluetooth range from couple of dollars to 300 dollars (How to add Bluetooth to an old car, 2017). The final and most important solution for stopping this dangerous act and to prevent accidents and fatalities related to texting and driving is to pull over. If the text matters then just pull over. Stopping will only take a few moments but will save lives and money.
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