University of Arkansas System
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Texting and Driving
Texting while driving is the act of composing, sending, reading text messages, email while driving. (Wikipedia) The age group with the greatest proportion of distracted drivers was the under-20 age group. (2009,NHTSA) With todays technology teenagers feel the need to be connected to their friends at all time. Even the simplest of conversations become extremely important due to the fact that they feel like they need to be talking twenty four seven. Texting and driving is so common that it increases the chances of having an accident at any moment no matter how much control you think you have over what’s happening, not only can it increase accidents but you can also harm yourself and others, and just when you think that’s all that can happen I tell you that you can kill too. So unless you plan on being someones “bitch” in jail, I suggest you educate yourself a little on the wrong that you are doing. Just think to yourself “Is this conversation really that important?” The answer should always be no. Five seconds are the average time your eyes are off the road while texting, when traveling at 55mph, that’s enough to cover the length of an entire football field. (2009,VTTI) That’s also enough time to get into a severe car accident. Many people realize the risk they are taking by texting and driving, but they seem to not care, seeing as how their phone is always in the palm of their hands, and they’re paying more attention to it than their driving and surroundings. Forty nine percent of drivers under the age of 35 send or read text messages while driving. (2011, Harris Poll) That’s an extremely high percentage, and any one of those people could cause the biggest collision you’ve ever seen in your entire life, in a matter of seconds. When you’re texting and driving, you’re reaction time is significantly decreased, so those five seconds you used to look at your phone, you could’ve used to notice that cars were beginning to brake, and you should’ve too.Congratulations, you’ve just been in an accident. Now, not only has your car insurance sky rocketed because the collision is your fault, but your medical bill and lawsuit will be a lot too. So, is that text still important to you? In an accident you always risk hurting yourself, and the person in the other car. You see the paramedics hovering you as you slowly open your eyes, you don’t remember what happened, so naturally you ask one of them what it was that happened. “You got into an accident sir.” “Well who’s the one who caused it?” “You are, sir. You were texting and didn’t stop.” You’re
now on your way to the hospital with what may be a broken leg because you couldn’t wait. Thirty five percent of teens who drive while distracted don’t think they get hurt. (2010, AAA and seventeen magazine) To me, driving is serious. My cousin died in a car accident in 2004, and i don’t like risking my safety over a text message that could wait, because I know I could get hurt at any second. Not only am I concerned with my safety, and not only should you be concerned with yours. Fact is, teenagers are usually with their friends, driving to the mall, or a party, so you should also be concerned with their safety. Their lives are in your hands, and their medical bill. I don’t know about you, but I don’t plan on paying a thousand or more on someones injury, when it could’ve been avoided by waiting. I like my bones and limbs in tact, and I’m pretty sure that i speak for everyone when i say that. Given the choice, we would never want to break or lose them. Twenty two percent of teens who drive while distracted say it makes driving less boring. (2010, AAA and seventeen magazine) Driving isn’t supposed to be exciting, you’re supposed to take it seriously. Your safety is at risk!!!! No wonder the older generation looks down on us in shame, and thinks we’re electronic dependent idiots. Distracted driving is the number one killer of American teens. Alcohol- related accidents among teens have dropped, but teenage traffic fatalities have remained unchanged because distracted driving is on the rise. (2007, Children’s hospital of Philadelphia and State Farm insurance study and NHTSA study) How is it that texting and driving hasn’t been made completely illegal everywhere in the United States?! I am completely outraged! If it is killing as many teens as drinking and driving would, then wouldn’t common sense tell you to make it illegal? Not only are they risking their own lives, but they are risking everyone else’s in the car, family and friends. How would you be able to live with yourself knowing that you killed your mom or you best friend in a car accident because you were texting “K” or some worthless text message? Or what if you’re texting and you don’t notice that innocent twelve year old boy crossing the road, and you run over him? next thing you know, you’re paying his funeral, and time in prison. You better hope there’s no death penalty in your state, because if I were the mother of that child, I’d be pushing for it. How would you be able to live with the fact that you took that innocent child’s life?! How you took that mothers reason to breathe
away? What would you family have to say about this? Did the not teach you better? You’d have a lot of time to reflect on all of this in prison. Don’t give me that “this is too much punishment” speech, because if the situation were vice versa you’d be waning the same amount of punishment, or worst. Texting and driving does cause accidents and some worst than drunk driving accidents, those accidents can lead to major injuries for you and/or the people in the car with you, and not only injuries but you can cause fatalities to people in your car, the other car, or pedestrians. So, another set of bills you’ll have to pay to add to your stress, due to an accident…. awesome! How do you feel about possibly amputating a ligament due to major blood loss or trauma, because of your text? Yeah, I don’t like that idea either. Prison? I’d rather stay out of it by not texting and driving and avoiding killing someone else. Don’t think about the person on the other side of the phone when driving, think bout how you’ll be the one paying for everything: Physically, emotionally, and mentally. They won’t be thinking about you in your time of struggle. Texting can wait.