the past 10 years, texting and driving has become a major issue on U.S. roads.
Even though 95% would agree that texting and driving is wrong, 71% of people admit to texting and
driving (It Can Wait). Distracted
driving is detrimental in today’s society; therefore, we need to apply some
safety features that will keep everyone protected at all times. There are many
helpful solutions to this problem like apps and features for your car.
while driving is a dangerous thing to do and can cause injury or death to
yourself or others involved in crashes. Even
though people know that texting and driving is dangerous, there are many
reasons why they do it.
driving is driving a vehicle while engaging in an activity that has the
potential to distract the driver from the task of driving (Dictionary.com).
According to DMV.org, there are 3 types of distracted driving: visual, manual,
and cognitive. Texting and driving became an issue starting in 2008, when smartphones
became more affordable and accessible (Full Coverage Auto Insurances).
Distracted driving is part of the driver’s education course offered by private
and public schools. Texting and driving falls under all 3 categories. It is
visual because you are looking at your phone instead of the road and the cars
around you. It is manual because you are typing messages instead of keeping
your hands on the wheel, ready to react to everything. It is cognitive because
you’re concentrating on the conservation you’re having instead of the situation
in your driving environment. As of June 2017, 46 states, the District of
Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands banned texting and
driving (CDC). When you or anyone you know is texting and driving, their eyes
are taken off the road for 5 seconds, which if you’re driving at 55 mph is the
equivalent of driving across a football field without looking at the road
(Texting and Driving Safety). In an article from Knowledge Center, Washington
was the first state to put a ban on texting and driving in 2007. Four states
(Arizona, Montana, Texas and Missouri) are the only states without bans on
texting and driving. Texas and Missouri have a ban on texting and driving for
novice drivers. Arizona and Montana
currently have no ban at all. However, Arizona’s ban on texting and driving
will go into effect on July 1, 2018 (Knowledge Center.org).
a 2014 survey, 98% of drivers said that they knew of the dangers of texting
while driving (CBS News). However, three-fourths of them admitted that they
text while driving (CBS News). Twenty-five percent of texting drivers say that
they are capable of doing several things at once while driving (CBS News). Other
reasons people give are staying connected to family and friends, worry that
they will miss something important or that it’s just become a habit. People are
more likely to text in the car when they are alone than they are with
passengers (Drive Safely). More than a quarter believe that their driving
performance is not affected by them texting (CBS News).
most at risk when texting and driving are drivers under the age of 20 (CDC).
Teen girls are more likely to text
while driving than teen boys (Full Coverage Auto Insurances).
Teenage drivers have a 400% higher
chance of being involved in a car crash while texting and driving than adults
(IceBike). Teens have the reaction time of a 70-year-old with distracted driving
(Teen Driver Source). Texting while driving is six times more likely to cause
an accident than drunk driving. One mother lost her son to texting and driving.
Her son, Gage Edwards overcorrected a curve, crossed the centerline, ran off
the left shoulder, and crashed into two trees. Edwards had to be airlifted to Wake
Forest Medical Center, where he later died. He had suffered a severe head
injury (ABCnews.go.com). Wil Craig was another unfortunate victim of a texting
and driving accident. His girlfriend was driving and was texting when they
crashed. When help arrived, Wil was pronounced dead at the scene and had to be
cut out of the windshield of the car. Wil was in a coma for more than 8 weeks
and was on life support for the first month. When he was brought to the
hospital, he had traumatic brain injury, a collapsed lung, and broken ribs. He
was told that he had a 4% chance of survival. The driver who was texting lost
control and crashed into a tree at 120 mph (Huffingtonpost.com).
who text have a 35% decrease in reaction, are unable to stay in lanes, and
cannot maintain a safe driving distance (Full Coverage Auto Insurances). In
comparison, drunk drivers have a twelve percent decrease in reaction time, are
able to stay in their lane and can maintain a safe driving distance (Full
Coverage Auto Insurances).
simple ways to prevent yourself and others from texting and driving is to hand
the phone to someone else, pull off the road to respond to a text or email, or
just wait until you get to your destination or a rest stop to respond (911
Driving). Technology can also help.
There are apps that can send a text that says you are driving at the
moment and cars that have certain features that can allow drivers to focus on
the road to interact with phone calls and texts. AT’s
Drive Mode app automatically sends replies to incoming texts that let others
know that you’re driving. When the app is opened, all of your incoming calls,
texts, and emails are put on silent. However, it does let you receive or make
calls with up to five people, call 911, and access your music. Another helpful
app, DriveSafe.ly will read your texts, emails and calls aloud so that you can
focus on driving or it lets you respond with your voice or responds
automatically for you (Mashable.com). Some cars have features that allows
drivers to interact with their phones hands-free. Ford has a SYNC operating
system that can send texts dictated by the driver and also has a MyKey feature
that allows parents to block calls and texts when teenagers are driving. It
also includes a feature that reads incoming texts aloud (Huffingtonpost.com). General
Motors has an eye-tracking technology that can detect when drivers look at
their phones (Huffingtonpost.com). In
2015, BMW released plans for gesture control that allows drivers to take calls
just by pointing at the navigation screen (Huffingtonpost.com). Another useful
app that can prevent texting and driving accidents is Cell Control, which
disables the ability to text, email, surf the web, and use social media. This
app can be set up in just 3 steps. You create an account online, download the
app, and put the DriveID behind the rearview mirror in your car. The DriveID is
also motion activated, so when you start driving, you and your passengers will
be protected from the phone’s distractions. DriveID is solar powered, so you will
always be protected when driving (Cellcontrol.com).
101 is a simulation created by the University of Massachusetts. A company
titled Arbella Insurance which takes place in a trailer that drives around to
high schools that shows novice drivers the dangers of distracted driving and
has some of the major components of a car, the steering wheel, the brake pedal,
the gas pedal, three large screens, and the side and rearview mirror screens. Distractology
101 has toured for over 4 years and over 100 high schools have participated in
the simulation. Close to 10,000 drivers have completed the Distractology 101
training, which consists of a forty-five minute instructional learning
experience behind the wheel and a twenty minute web reinforcement showing what
the students learned. A junior at Assabet Regional Technical High School said
that “You always think it is not that hard, but it actually is very hard. You
only have to look away for two seconds and you can crash” (Communityadvocate.com).
A junior at Greater New Bedford Regional Vocational Technical High School had
this to say about the simulation, “It teaches you that no matter what you’re
doing, whatever distraction it is, it can get you into something very serious
and it shows you that you must keep your guard up even when it’s your right of
feel that all the above solutions should be mandatory, especially the apps. If you
download one of the pre-mentioned apps, the app should automatically turn on
the feature that allows it to keep you from being distracted from social media,
emails, and texts.
A team of researchers at the Highway
Loss Data Institute found that there are no reductions in car collisions after
the texting and driving laws took effect. The research team also found that in
three states, the number of texting and driving caused accidents increased (ABCnews.go.com).
closing, texting and driving is someone that has a major effect on the lives of
us and the lives around us, but I believe that, if we all work together to educate
the young drivers of the world, we can make the world a safer place for people
of all ages.