Texting and Driving have become a problem in today’s society as texting possesses danger to many individuals through death and injury. This paper will show a series of reasons why texting while driving should have harsher sentences as it reduces the number of accidents occurring because of this action. Studies have shown that persons who know the risk for this action is harsh penalty for their action and might face prison time. As a result, less accidents would occur because of the penalty risk it will bring, where as communities where little to no penalties are given, texting while driving continue to take place causing many deaths and many injuries due to accidents. This paper will also show the causes and effects of texting while driving and the danger it possesses not only to the one taking part in this action but to other individuals and by standers (Ferdinand et all., 2015).
Texting While Driving
According to Centers for disease control and preventation, “each day in the United States, approximately 9 people are killed and more than 1,000 injured in crashes that are reported to involve a distracted driver” (2017). Mobile phones were introduced in the 1990s and by 2000s many phone companies began to introduce text messaging as package deals. By 2008 there was a love for text messaging more than phone calls and Americans where sending texts more than they were calling with their phones simply because it was cheaper and more accessible. However, all this came at a risk when persons mixed texting with driving. In 2008 when the issue because known Alaska was one of the first to change their legislations making texting while driving a misdemeanor punishable up to one year in jail (“Full Coverage Auto Insurance – Texting & Driving,” n.d.). While there are many other causes of road accidents, one should take into consideration the mass danger texting and driving causes and the effects it may have on individuals. Texting and driving should be punishable by jail time without accident caused, as it is one of the leading causes of road accident in the United States.
According to a personal injury law firm Edgar Snyder ; Associate, The National Safety Council reports that cell phone use while driving leads to 1.6 million crashes each year, while nearly 390,000 injuries occur each year from accidents caused by texting while driving (“Texting and Driving Accident Statistics – Distracted Driving,” n.d.) . This goes to show that not only texting and driving injures the person involve in this crime but also other individuals as well. Holzwarth. A. suggested that “we feel immune to the risks that affect other people.” This has many truths to it as one don’t always see the danger we put other persons in (2018)”. He also stated that the persons doing this crime do not think that that their own driving was dangerous while using their cell phone Holzwarth. A. Because of this; many persons put others at risk every time they pick up a phone while driving. Moreover, this practice has not been proven to work, not only do the driver can get badly hurt but a lot of damage can be done to the pedestrian, other motorist and private property can get damaged. All these can be costly and dangerous because death would be the easy way out with no pain if the persons are pronounced dead on the spot. But one can imagine if any of these individuals has to suffer? There are some things worse things than death in the eyes of some. Being paralyzed because of someone else recklessness, or not being able to function properly to live your life how you are accustomed. Bailey, R.S.) gave a true statement which one can ponder on, he stated that ”If a car accident causes more serious injuries from which the person never recovers, such as paralysis from a spinal cord injury, epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, or even coma, these injuries are considered catastrophic. These catastrophic injuries require ongoing medical attention and do not allow a person to go back to their former jobs or resume their normal lives 92017).” Some other damages that can be done and can be healed are broken bones, neck and back injuries, traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, broken bones, loss of limbs and many more.
Texting while driving can be categorized into distracted driving, according to Geneva, Switzerland, World Health Organization,(2011). Distraction is the diversion of attention away from activities critical for safe driving towards a competing activity. Using mobile phones can cause drivers to take their eyes off the road, and their minds off the road and surrounding. It is this type of distraction – known as cognitive distraction – which appears to have the biggest impact on driving behavior, Ferdinand, A. O., et el (2015) research shows that when strict bans are placed there are fewer accidents occurring. “Bans were associated with a 7% reduction in crash-related hospitalizations among all age groups. Texting bans were significantly associated with reductions in hospitalizations among those aged 22 to 64 years and those aged 65 years or older” (2015). They suggested that “Marginal reductions were seen among adolescents. States that have not passed strict texting bans should consider doing so” Ferdinand, A. O., et el (2015).
Causes and Effects
According to Reynolds, J. of techwalla, text messaging is prevalent in our connected society. Some of these go out while the sender is behind the wheel of a car. The reasons for this can include any number of things, including convenience. Sending someone a brief text is easier, and sometimes faster than calling. Sending and receiving texts are an efficient method of communicating. A study by the American Automobile Association revealed that 46 percent of teens text message while driving and 51 percent talk on their cell phones behind the wheel (“Survey Shows Teens’ Risky Driving Habits Include Text Messaging Behind the Wheel,” 2007).
There is no evidence that teens openly pressure their peers into texting while driving, there is an expectation in the culture to respond promptly to text messages, even when you are driving. This need to communicate instantaneously causes drivers to respond to texts, which leads to distraction and accidents. Texting while driving distracts drivers from the road. A study by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute claimed that drivers who texted behind the wheel were 23 times more likely to be involved in a serious accident compared with drivers who made phone calls, which increased their risk of accident six times. Talking on the phone can take concentration off the road. When a driver looks down at their phone to text, they also take their eyes off the road (“New data from Virginia Tech Transportation Institute provides insight into cell phone use and driving distraction,” 2009).
Laws on Texting While Driving
According to Angell, B., texting while driving laws is different in different states, but there are states where there are stricter rules than the others, out of 44 states there are four states prohibit teenage drivers and new drivers from text messaging. “The laws governing texting while driving vary from state to state. However, punishment for texting while driving generally includes a combination of the following: Monetary fines, Criminal charges, Jail or prison time. The severity of punishments increases with repeat offenses. For example, after a second offense, the judge may choose to issue a higher fine or a longer jail sentence (2016).”
Because of this, the crime rate will go down because individuals know that they will not only get fine but they will can also be placed into jail.