The Dangers of Texting and Driving
In December 2009, over 110 billion text messages were sent (Texting Increases the Risk of Having a Crash in Both Trucks and Cars).
Obviously, text messaging has become a way of life for teens all over the world. It has been proven that about 50% of teens and young adults from the ages of 16-24 have admitted to texting while driving, only increasing the risk for an accident or fatality while driving (Texting Increases the Risk of Having a Crash in Both Trucks and Cars). Because of many dangers and consequences, teens should not text and drive, and there are many preventative actions to eliminate the risks of texting while driving. Teens that text and drive run the risk of many dangers harming them. Teenagers who text and drive are ticking time bombs, waiting to explode at any moment. Texting while driving can distract even the most skilled driver, let alone a teenager who has very little experience and is new to the road.
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Is texting while driving more dangerous than drunk driving? It has been proven true in an issue of Car and Driver, and the magazine compared the reaction times of a 22-year-old driver who was texting and the same driver who had been drinking with a blood alcohol content of 0.08, the legal limit. The driver had faster reaction times while drunk than while texting (UNPROTECTED TEXT). In 2009, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) published a report, stating that distracted driving killed 5,870 people, and 515,000 were injured (Texting While Driving). The dangers of texting and driving are very evident and can cause harm to yourself or others.
There are more than a few consequences to texting and driving. An accident caused by texting while driving can injure or kill someone. Congress proposed a bill that gives financial incentive to states that ban texting and other phone use in the car. This includes a minimum double fine of two hundred dollars, and a one hundred dollar fine for talking on the phone. Although, this bill was not passed, it is close to being put into effect.
Nevertheless, many state legislatures have passed their own laws along the lines of the Congress’s bill. In some cases, adults have been convicted in a court of law, receiving 4-15 years in jail. Teens in this position have received community service instead of jail time. The biggest consequence of all is the emotional damage. The damage can scar you and other’s lives forever; the damage cannot disappear with jail-time or community service, and the damage will always be there. Texting while driving can lead to these consequences and you can do many things as a driver to prevent these consequences from happening to you.
To prevent accidents caused by teenage texting and driving, there are some actions to take. First, you could quit texting and driving. If you are still hooked on cellular usage in the car (many of you are), there are less distracting ways to do so. For example, many newer cars come with systems where the phone works through the car. In addition, you can purchase a Bluetooth headset, which connects to your phone through a wireless earpiece. When stopped at a stoplight or stop sign, text there.
If the text is that important, pull over to the side of the road and talk to the person. If you have a passenger in the car, you can ask them to text what you want to say to them. These are all positive actions to prevent accidents caused by teenage texting while driving. The consequences are evident, the dangers are there, and there are actions to prevent teens from texting and driving. About 50% of teens and young adults admit to texting and driving; however, many others do text and not admit to it.
I hope that teenage texting and driving will begin to decline in the coming years as racism has in the 20th century.