Texting and driving is one of many world problems that has taken our nation by storm over the past decade. Some people assume they can safely type on their phone while driving, or just think there is no real danger. Texting and driving must be stopped. Government must take action to add to the laws and punishment on the offenders. It’s also important that we imply ample education programs in order to spread the message about the dangers of sending a message while behind the wheel.
Texting and driving is an epidemic. The advancement of new phones and with larger amounts of people engaging now more than ever before, it has turned into a problem. People are fixated on all the new social media, who has the best stories, more likes, new followers, checking emails, snapchat, twitter and texting. The use of texting while driving is extremely dangerous not only to the driver but to everyone else around them as well. Recent naturalistic studies revealed distraction was a factor observed in around 52 to 68% of crashes. Every year, 21% of fatal crashes involve a cell phone while behind the wheel. These statistics are expected to grow by 4% every year. (“Cell Phone & Texting Accidents”). In order to resolve this problem, the united states government should take a stronger stance on laws and punishment against texting and driving, as well as pushing forward more education about the dangers in texting behind the wheel to future drivers.
Approximately thirty- five have acted on texting and driving bans for all drivers. Seven more have banned it from novice drivers or those who have their license but are under the age of eighteen, with three more banning it for only school bus drivers (“Map of Texting Bans”). This only leaves seven more states that do not have a ban. The National Transportation Safety Board, recommended that there should be a national ban on all cell phone use inside vehicles, including hands free devices. This law would be much stricter than any current state law and have drastic steps towards vehicular safety. Chairman Deborah Hersman said of the new recommendation by the board, “We’re not here to win a popularity contest. No email, no text, no update, no call is worth a human life.” A law banning all use of cell phones would cause dissatisfaction within certain members of the American population, as it would cause the need for complying to a completely new rule that is combatting what has become ingrained behavior for many Americans. But any law that bans texting while driving would undoubtedly save hundreds of American lives. Each year, six thousand deaths and half a million injuries are caused by distracted drivers (“Cell Phone & Texting Accidents”). A national ban on texting while driving would aid in cutting this number down immediately.As well as laws against texting behind the wheel, making sure that the punishment for violating this law is strong enough to prevent drivers from phone usage while driving. Massachusetts is the only state that has strict penalties, if someone is caught driving and texting, they receive a $100 fine, sixty-day license suspension, and a required attendance of a driver retaining course (“Texting While Driving Legislation”). The penalties increase for subsequent offenses as well. The violators are punished severely if they cause an accident while texting behind the wheel. In some states such as California they only have fines of $20 for breaking the texting and driving law. Having such low value does not convey the seriousness of the offense so drivers don’t put their phones down while driving. In order for everyone to be on board and help reduce the amount of phone usage while behind the wheel we should take as an example from Massachusetts and the laws they have set.
It is very important that we take control and strictly enforce texting and driving laws, even more so that strong educational programs are made available and mandatory to all drivers. As David Coursey of PC World states, “We need, right now, a national education campaign, like our anti-drunk driving efforts, to tell people forcefully that there is no totally safe way to use a cellular telephone while driving. And that texting while driving, using current technology, is incredibly dangerous. Period” (Coursey). The US transportation is pushing forward the “It Can Wait” campaign, set by AT&T it is a positive, but more must be done to provide drivers with more exposure around the country. In order for this to continue the government must set guidelines and provide support for this program or have one of their own as well. the government should enact legislation to provide funding so the program can grow and reach every driver in America.Spreading awareness through presentations, the number of fatalities would decline. Without such education, a young driver may think: “No biggie, it only takes two or three seconds to fire off this text” (Flores). But, an educator on distracted driving would respond with questions such as, “Well, did you also know that you can easily cover 190 feet of road in just two-seconds at 65 miles per hour? And what do you think your reaction time is if you spotted danger just 50-100 feet away? Or how long it would take your car to stop or change directions in time?” (Flores). Exposing students to facts such as this while they are still early drivers should be a top priority in a young driver’s education.
In order to educate more drivers on texting and driving the government should implement a mandatory class of two hours on distracted driving, focusing strictly on texting. Future drivers already have to take a written exam to obtain a license on rules of the road so adding an additional quiz on safe driving is not so difficult. This education would focus on techniques and rules each one must follow to be safe on the road and keep others around us safe as well. By adding an additional class on distracted driving and its effects, the drivers will be more educated on safe driving. Having gone through this, drivers will pay more attention during their driving and have knowledge of the safety rules on the road, it wouldn’t be a waste of government spending.
The dangers of being on the phone behind the wheel cost thousands of live’s every year. The number has increased since the amount of texting and social media has been more popular. Currently the fifty states have their own laws regarding the punishment when it comes to texting while driving, many of which are not strong enough to convince drivers to put their phones down. It is important for the government pass a legislation that will unify laws against and strengthen punishment against those who text behind the wheel. Besides making a new law against texting and driving, it is also important that the government provide strong education programs to describe in detail the dangers of distracted driving. Making it a requirement to pass a mandatory distracted driver course to ensure they are aware of the cause texting and driving can potentially hurt many people.
The It Can Wait® campaign, first created by AT&T, to end texting and
“Cell Phone & Texting Accident Statistics.” Cell Phone Accident Statistics and Texting While Driving Facts. Web. 19Sept. 2019. <http://www.edgarsnyder.com/car-accident/cell-phone/statistics.html>.
“Map of Texting Bans.” Iihs.org. Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, Sept. 2019. Web. <http:/www.iihs.org/laws/maptextingbans.aspx>.
“Texting While Driving Legislation.” Text and Drive with the Text’n Drive Mobile Application. Web. 20 Sept. 2019. <http://www.textndrive.com/textingwhiledriving.php>.
“Texting While Driving Stories & Accidents | AT&T Corporate Responsibility.” AT&T. Web. 20 Sept. 2019.<http://www.att.com/gen/corporate-citizenship?pid=19917>.
Flores, Mark. “AT&T Announces It Can Wait Campaign on the Dangers of Text Messaging and Driving.” Into Mobile, 20 Sept. 2010. Web. <http://www.intomobile.com/2010/12/27/att-text-messaging-driving-danger/>.