The following student essay was submitted as an entry in our scholarship essay contest.
Texting and 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 world, both good and bad. Most of the bad comes 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 second, 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 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 the programs that are helping to prevent texting while driving. Easy and simple ways that everyone can do as the 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 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 wide spread and easily accomplished, there should be 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 a 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.