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Abstract

The popularity of mobile phones has brought about a revolution in the way people do things. Most of this revolution has been in the way people communicate. Today, communication has become instant even for people in different parts of the world.

With people needing to keep in touch with their loved ones, business associates and acquaintances, mobile devices have become an irreplaceable part of life. However, this popularity has come with unintentional and even risky repercussions. According to researchers, communicating in mobile phones is linked to an upsurge in unfocused driving.

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This act of distracted driving in return leads to injury and possible loss of lives through road accidents. If this is to be stopped, there is need to move with urgency and dissuade people from using their mobile phones while driving. This research paper looks at the dangers of texting while driving. The research paper will present some statistics to prove that texting while drivingis one of the biggest contributors of road accidents in American roads.

Introduction

The popularity of mobile phones has brought about a revolution in the way people do things. Most of this revolution has been in the way people communicate. Today, communication has become instant even for people in different parts of the world. With people needing to keep in touch with their loved ones, business associates and acquaintances, mobile devices have become an irreplaceable part of life.

However, this popularity has come with unintentional and even risky repercussions. According to researchers, communicating in mobile phones is linked to an upsurge in unfocused driving. This act of distracted driving in return leads to injury and possible loss of lives through road accidents.

If this is to be stopped, there is need to move with urgency and dissuade people from using their mobile phones while driving. This research paper looks at the dangers of texting while driving. The research paper will present some statistics to prove that texting while driving is one of the biggest contributors of road accidents in American roads. (Federal Communications Commission)

According to a report released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), drivers who get distracted contribute to about 16% of the deadly accidents happening in our roads. Further, the NHTSA estimates that distracted driving was a direct cause of 5,800 deaths and almost 500,000 injuries in 2008 alone.

According to findings of a study conducted by AAA, almost half of American youth admit that they often text while driving. The most saddening thing is that majority of these teens think that there is nothing wrong for them to text while driving. Given that texting while driving is a leading contributor of distraction for drivers and by looking at the current levels of injury and loss, something needs to be done with urgency. (FCC)

Today, so much literature has been dedicated to the issue of texting while driving. The one thing that all the available literature concludes is that texting while driving leads to lack of concentration hence impairing driver’s abilities.

One undisputed thing that happens with a texting driver is that he has to take his eyes off the road to concentrate on the text message. The amount of time that the driver takes to concentrate on the road is enough to miss a changing light or fail to notice a driver who has abruptly stopped in front of him. Additionally, when a driver is texting, his mind has to be on the message he is writing or studying.

This definitely bars the driver from thinking in a swift manner and compromises his impulse reaction. The most probable thing therefore is that the driver would be slow in reacting to a situation on the road since his thoughts are engaged elsewhere. This lack of concentration is the cause of many accidents happening today. (McElroy)

According to reports, a person texting while driving has a 600% more likelihood of causing an accident than the person under the influence of drugs. In addition, texting while driving produces a 23% chance of causing an accident. These statistics have been verified repeatedly through different studies. One such report by an association called Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) identifies texting as one of the worst road mistakes that drivers commit.

The most worrying thing is that while 37% of teenagers admit that texting while driving makes them to be distracted, they are yet to stop this habit. In the same study, an alarming figure of 46% admitted that the only time they get distracted while driving is when they are texting. According to analysts, texting is considered a serious public security issue. As all this is happening, law enforcement agencies are yet to come up with a law that bans text messaging among drivers. (Austin)

Based on studies done on the subject, insurance companies are slowly devising ways to reduce this hazard. Some of the rules include banning the use of mobile phones while driving. While parents are supposed to give guidance to their children, an amazing 52% of teenagers confess that their parents would never punish them for texting while driving.

On the other hand, only a paltry 36% believe that their parents would be concerned if they texted while driving. Most young people say that their parents have a great influence on the way they drive. Not surprisingly, three quarters of teens say that their parents use their mobile devices while driving. (Vogel)

Recommendations

Although there are no federal laws regulating texting while driving, drivers should first think of their own safety even in the absence of the law. Drivers who are in their teens should be given instructions not to use their mobile devices while driving. Before issuance of a new license, drivers should be taught about the dangers of taking their attention out of the road.

Mostly, a child’s biggest mentor is the parent. If parents would stay off texting while driving, their children would follow their example. It is advisable for parents to be a good example to their children by pulling off the road when they have to text or make a phone call. In reality, it is not everyone who knows the dangers of texting while driving.

Therefore, it is important for enlightened people to tell others about the dangers of texting while driving. No matter how urgent a text is, one should be wise enough to know that it is not as important as their life and that of other road users. However, the most effective way of ensuring that text messaging do not continue to be a menace in our roads is to come up with a kind of technology that jams cell phones while one is driving. The government should therefore do everything to ensure that such a law is passed. (Pinkston)

Conclusion

The magnitude of carnage on our roads has been on the rise in recent years. Most of these accidents have been detected to be caused by lack of concentration on the part of the drivers. Texting while driving is one cause for lack of concentration among many drivers. Many young people claim that they can efficiently text while driving. However, all research done on this field proves that it is impossible to do the two without losing concentration.

Texting while driving is placed in the same category as drinking and driving. This therefore calls for more education on the use of mobile devices while on the road to reduce cases of accidents caused by lack of concentration. This duty first starts with parents who have to set an example to their children by not texting while driving. On top of this, the government needs to come up with legislation that outlaw the use of mobile devices while one is driving.

Works Cited

Austin, Michael. Texting While Driving: How dangerous is it?-Feature, 2009. Web. Oct 7. 2010.

Federal Communications Commission. FCC Consumer Advisory. The Dangers of Texting While Driving, 2009. Web. Oct 4. 2010.

McElroy, Griffin. Simulator Warns Students of Dangers of Texting While Driving, 2010. Web. Oct 15. 2010.

Pinkston, Lesley. Dangers of Texting While Driving, 2010. Web. Oct 4. 2010.

Vogel, Steve. Teen Driver Menace. Text-Messaging Studies Show Texting While Driving is Epidemic, 2007. Web. Oct 14. 2010.

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