Cell Phones and Driving Don’t Mix
Cell Phones and Driving Don’t Mix Sitting in my classroom, I’m looking at the empty seat next to me, missing my friend that was killed last night in a car accident. The police say he was texting and swerved into oncoming traffic. I can’t imagine what his parents are going through. He had his whole future ahead of him.
The combination of cell phones and driving is a dangerous and deadly problem that affects all drivers on the road. Millions of crashes are caused each year from the new, advanced technology that surrounds us. Action needs to be taken to protect everyone, not only drivers, but pedestrians as well. You may be a driver that doesn’t use a cell phone while driving, but there are careless drivers who do otherwise. This is important to me because I will be driving soon and I don’t want to get into a accident because of a distracted driver who feels the need to talk or text on their phone. Talking on cell phones pose a huge distraction to all drivers on the road.
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Old and new drivers are tied up by modern cell phones. Studies show that the risk of an accident increases by four times when a driver is using a phone. Because people are constantly checking and talking on their phones, people tend to ignore side streets and pedestrians. Talking on your phone also decreases your reaction time. For example, people are having to slam on their brakes at stop signs since they aren’t paying attention or don’t see them until the last minute.
People often tend to believe that they can multitask, but in reality they can’t. Going back and forth between concentrating on their phone conversation and driving decreases their awareness about what is going on around them. Have you ever tried to watch a movie or read a book and talk on your phone at the same time? Are you really able to concentrate fully on both of them? Since kids now rely on modern technology to communicate, they are more tempted to use their phones while driving. Studies show that over forty percent of high school students use their phones while driving. Only a few states have restrictions against cell phone use while driving which shows that there is no immediate action being taken against it on a federal level. Since people are using their phones so much, airplane travel is actually safer.
Not only does talking on cell phones pose a huge threat to all people, but texting does too (Seppa). Texting is becoming a huge and dangerous trend everywhere. Texting while driving is a hazard to everyone on the road. Texting impairs a driver as much as a person drinking four beers. Texting leads to drivers following other vehicles too close, not being able to break soon enough, and drivers weaving in and out of other lanes.
Studies show that the risk of crashing increases by 23 percent when people are texting. The annual cost of crashes caused by the use of a cell phones is $43 billion (McGuire 10). The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that texting is the leading factor of 1.6 million crashes a year which accounts to 25% of all accidents nationwide. It is shown that the minimal amount of time that it takes to read an average text message is five seconds. If a vehicle is driving 55 miles per hour and you are checking a text message, that means that you aren’t looking at the road for a staggering length of a football field.
Do you know how much can happen and go wrong in that much time? A lot! States are realizing that texting is a hazard for the motoring public and something needs to be done. Therefore, 32 states have banned cell phone use altogether, and 39 states have banned texting and driving as well. In conclusion, texting should be banned in all fifty states for the safety of the public (Bowers 6-8). Talking and texting while driving is dangerous and can lead to a life threatening accident. Think about it next time you are driving.
Is it worth injuring or killing yourself or someone else? How will your friends and family feel losing you? Not using your cell phone while driving isn’t that hard and people need to realize that not making a phone call or text won’t be the end of the world. The US Department of Transportation estimates that 25% of the 6.3 million crashes each year involve a driver that is distracted (Seo 101). Thousands of people die annually because of driver’s carelessness. Cell phone use while driving needs to be banned to protect everyone.
More dramatic actions need to be taken so future drivers can be safer on the roads.