The following student essay was submitted as an entry in our scholarship essay contest.
Texting and Driving Essay by Leticia Z
Statistics on texting and using your phone while driving and ideas to break those habits
-By Leticia Pérez Zamora
Every day in the United States around one out of ten people are killed by distracted drivers, and around 1500 are injured in some way in crashes by these irresponsible, distracted drivers. One of the most dangerous, distracting activities that many people do is texting while driving. It is extremely dangerous because people who do this are putting more attention in texting, and they take their eyes off the road while they are driving, which increases the chance that the driver can lose the control of the vehicle, and could cause a crash or even in a worst-case could kill other people. When a person is texting, she/he is thinking about other things besides concentrating on driving. This is very dangerous because it could make the driver lose control of the car and slow her/his brain’s reaction time in case of a potential accident.
The statistics are very sad because according to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) in 2011, 3,331 people were killed in crashes involving a distracted driver, and 387,000 people were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving a distracted driver. Additionally, a recent study by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute showed that drivers who are texting are twice as likely to crash, or almost crash, as those who are focused on the road. These statistics are reaching higher numbers because people are using their cell phones more and more, especially adolescents.
For this reason, it is very important that we find some ideas to break off this bad habit of texting while driving. I think that one of the easiest and best ways to break this habit is simply to turn off your phone. In this case, the driver wouldn’t be distracted by the ringing or buzzing of the phone, and it wouldn’t tempt the driver to text while driving. Another way to break this habit is to download some of the new applications that can disable cell phones while people are driving. Also, there are other applications that automatically send a text to whoever is texting the driver to tell that person that she/he is driving and that the text will be answered later. There are a great variety of applications to choose I think that we can use these to help us with the problem of texting while we are driving. Additionally, if a driver is waiting for an important call or text and has company in the car, the phone can be given to a passenger to check it out. Also, there are some programs that are helping to raise awareness about the dangers of distracted driving and to keep it from occurring. In these anti-texting programs, people can drive in a simulated situation, where they are driving but also texting, and can see how many accidents are caused by this problem.
Something very important is that many of the states have started to pass some laws that order drivers to stop texting while driving. However, we need to be sincere: none of these laws will be effective if we as a society don’t understand that texting while driving could have terrible consequences, not only for us as drivers but also for other innocent people. I don’t think that answering texts is more important than the lives of other people; texting can wait until drivers arrive at their destination.
The Dangers of Texting While Driving, Essay
– By LoryYau, St. Johns University
With the advanced technology in today’s world, people are very connected to each other and are constantly on their phone texting friends, going on social media, or using the phone to pass time. However, this also includes texting back a friend while driving. As simple as it might seems, texting and driving is very dangerous and should be taken seriously. In fact, in 2011, at least 23% of auto collisions involved cell phones. That’s about 1.3 million crashes! Not only that but texting while driving is actually more dangerous than driving while being drunk or high on marijuana. Every year almost a million people in the United States get into accidents, the majority: teens. Unfortunately, the number just keeps increasing.
Though texting and driving caused many injuries and deaths, there are still people who don’t think it’s a problem and are confident that they can use their phone and drive simultaneously. However, 34% of teens aged sixteen to seventeen spend about 10% of their driving time outside of their lane. This affects other people who are driving and can cause the deaths of innocent lives. In a 2012 Cell Phone and Driving Statistic, it is reported that 3,328 people were killed and 421,000 people were injured due to distracted drivers. Furthermore, it is said that talking or listening on the phone increases the risk of crashing by 1.3 times while reaching for a device is 1.4. Dialing is 2.8 times more risk of crashing while texting is 23 more times. Additionally, talking on a cell phone and driving at the same time can make the driver’s reaction time to be as slow as that of a seventy-year-old.
To break these habits, people can either turn off their phone or put it on silent before driving. This will force them to concentrate on the road only. But if this method doesn’t work on some people, you can use S voice or Seri to command your phone to read out your messages or to reply back. This will allow your eyes to focus on the road instead of your phone. No more reaching for your phone to text “Lol” or “Lmao” and endangering your own live and many others. Though you are still talking while driving, it still decreases your chance of crashing. An app in smart phones that works similarly to the method I described before is called DriveSafe.ly. Basically, it reads your text messages and emails out loud and has a customizable auto-responder. A few other apps that help prevent texting are called Safely Go and TXT ME L8R. Both apps work by either blocking the phone’s ability to text, receive, and use apps or locking the phone. Then both phones automatically send a message to inform your friends or family that you are driving. For parents, you can give your phones to your kids while you’re driving. You won’t be able to get them back when they’re too busy playing Angry Bird or Cut the Rope.
To stop people from texting and driving, one of the major phone companies, AT&T, address this problem by creating the AT&T’s It Can Wait to text and driving campaign to spread awareness. Many stories and documentaries are also posted online to support this campaign. You can also join millions of others who have signed the pledge to never text and drive and to instead take action to educate others about the dangers of it. If you still believe you can get home safely by texting and driving, AT&T’s simulator will prove you wrong. It gives you a real-life experience of texting and driving. With this game, you’ll only find out that it’s not as easy as it sounds. Before you look at a text, remember that it is not worth dying for.
The Issue of Texting While Driving
-By Justin Van Nuil
It seems that everyone has a cell phone, and they cannot be separated from it. Cell phones have made a huge impact in the world, both good and bad. Most of the bad come when people, especially teens, decide to use the phone when behind the wheel of a vehicle. There are some huge statistics against texting and talking on the phone while driving, and people are trying to bring awareness to this expanding problem across the United States.
Staggering statistics are out there for everyone to see, yet we go about our lives ignoring the signs and warning against using our cell phones while driving. Textinganddrivingsafety.com tells us that texting while driving increases the probability of getting in a crash twenty-three times the normal amount, and thirteen percent of the young adults, eighteen to twenty, have admitted to talking or texting before the course of the accident. This is due to the time our eyes are off the road, and our mind’s capacity to do only one task at a time. Just taking our eyes off the road for five seconds, while the car is traveling at fifty-five miles per hour, is the same as traveling a football field without noticing what is going on around us. Seeing the danger in this is very evident, especially around intersections. Taking eyes off the road through an intersection is probably the highest risk, the light could be changing causing the car in front to stop, or worse, traveling through the red light or a stop sign into flowing traffic.
Texting is a major factor when it comes to crashes and creating a hazardous situation, so preventing the usage of cell phones while driving would be a large step in limiting the number of crashes that happen in the United States. There are multiple associations that are already trying to prevent cell phone usage. Associations such as the NHTSA, the Nation Highway Traffic Safety Association, which is an organization dedicated fully to tips and facts and videos showing how dangerous it can be to use your cell phone. There are also Facebook and Twitter pages, and blogs. In addition, the driving courses in Michigan has a section in the lesson on the hazards of using cell phones while driving.
These are just programs that are helping to prevent texting while driving. Easy and simple ways that everyone can do as they enter the car. Firstly, by putting the phone in the glovebox, you eliminate the temptation to reach for it and use it while your driving. If you decide not to use that method, and you have a passenger, just give the phone to them, they can rely on the information to you if it is that important. Just keeping the phone out of reach, in general, will help prevent the usage of the device.
Not only are these ways are widespread and easily accomplished, but there should also be a restriction in general for usage while driving. I know multiple states have issued laws against texting, and in some states absolute usage of the cell phone while in the drivers seat. Although, the overall effects may not be seen in the number of accidents prevented due to these laws, but having a larger discipline for doing such activities should help in dropping the number of people on their devices.
Preventing the usage of these everyday devices is very simple, yet rather difficult, and will save lives if it work out. Accidents are deadly to many people, so creating an environment for everyone is better in the long run. As a young adult, I plan to use some of these ideas and promote these websites and encourage others around me to do the same.
Why Is Texting And Driving Dangerous Essay?
-By Haley Muhammad
It has become such an issue that every time we turn on the TV all we see is that same commercial running about that girl who died because she wanted to text her friend back. Or that now in every major TV show someone always gets in a car accident because they want to text someone that they love them. It’s clear that no one has the decency to pull over to text someone back or even call them to say I will text you later because I’m driving. It’s a rising epidemic that’s destroying the generation of teenagers. I remember when technology was something beautiful because of how helpful it is but, now its become a hazard to the generation alone. Statistics have shown that “ Texting while driving has become a greater hazard than drinking while driving among teenagers who openly acknowledge sending and reading text messages while behind the wheel of a moving vehicle,” stated by Delthia Ricks from Newsday newspaper.
Ever since the emergence of cell phones, this generation has become heavily dependent on it for every minute of every day. Cell phones and texting were created ultimately to provide communication but it has now become so much more than that. Statistics also show that “Seventy-one percent of young people say they have sent a text while driving. As a result, thousands of people die every year in crashes related to distracted driving,” (Distraction.gov). Texting while driving has become a heavy habit for most teens and adults as well but regardless of the commercials and shows and statistics that show the results of texting while driving most people cannot kick the habit. Other statistics include, “Individuals who drive while sending or reading text messages are 23 percent more likely to be involved in a car crash than other drivers. A crash typically happens within an average of three seconds after a driver is distracted,” (donttextdrive.com). Overall all these statistics are saying the same thing, is that one text can wreck all.
So many lives are taken or altered because of the simple decision to send or reply to one text message. If precautions are heavily enforced before adults and teens especially enter the car, then maybe this epidemic can become obsolete. Fines are enforced but how well is the question? Phones are the biggest distraction when you enter a car, this doesn’t completely forget about alcohol or trying to change the radio station but technology has become so advanced that we have voice text and on a star. If the message is that important phones should become voice-activated and only respond to your voice so we can still pay attention to the road and send out a text without removing our hands from the wheel. Technology has also graced us with Bluetooth if you need to stay in communication just use Bluetooth and make a phone call instead which is completely easier than sending a text anyway because its faster and you can get responses much quicker than you could with a text message. Reality is one text or call could wreck it all.
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Stuart A. Carpey, who has been practicing as an attorney since 1987, focuses his practice on complex civil litigation which includes representing injured individuals in a vast array of personal injury cases.