Texting and Driving

By: Jared Szaltis

Intexticated

Should it be legal to drive, while distracted?

¨It’s not distracting¨, a common argument said by those who support DISTRACTED DRIVING, texting while driving is a serious problem throughout the US, with over 82% of American teenagers (16 and over) owning a cell, and with 34% of teen drivers saying that they have texted while driving. Cell phone use should not be allowed while driving, excluding hands free device (A story for another day). The government should put more laws in place to restrict cell phone use while driving to reduce it so it help save the state millions, to prevent the killing of thousands of lives each year, and to minimize the chance to get into an accident involving texting and driving.

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Making new laws to prohibit the use of cell phones, to help save millions of $$, so that they can be used in other programs such as World Aid, Energy and Education, etc..

  • The US spends over $175 billion dollars with productivity losses, property damage, medical and rehabilitation costs, congestion costs, legal and court costs, emergency services, insurance administration costs, and the costs to employers, and more due to texting and driving. Similar to the War on Terror Costs, the costs spent on texting and driving over time could have been spent to provide FREE energy for ⅔ of the American population. The laws could help provide better education and resources for disadvantaged children and families.

The laws could help prevent the deaths/injuries of hundreds of thousands of people per year.

  • Drivers involved in texting and driving accidents are more likely to be killed/injured, especially male drivers. Having stricter laws and penalties would decrease the amount of causalities every year and make people decide not to text and drive. Along side these law, the government should adopt new laws and penalties for those who aren't wearing seat belts, since 60% of young adults who have passed away due to texting and driving, were not wearing seat belts. As of 2012 on average, 9-11 teens die every day due to texting and driving.

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Insurance Rate Hikes

If you get a ticket for texting and driving you will most definitely have your insurance rate hiked up, since your insurance company now believes that you could get into a crash since you will probably repeat this again. They do this since covering the cost of injuries and damages can be extremely high. Adding in the ever climbing cost of medical bills, the price that insurance companies have to pays is a gargantuan amount. by doing this you are increasing the risk that your insurance company will have to pay a pretty big claim if you get into a wreck. So technically if you get caught texting and driving, having you insurance rate hiked up should be a wake up call! But there is not a set mark for which an insurance company has to increase the rate, it depends on the state you live in.

The laws could reduce the risk of getting into an accident involving texting and driving.

  • ¼ car accidents are caused by texting and driving. Texting while driving increases your risk of getting into a car crash by 23%, 24% if you have one passenger, and 28% with 2 or more passengers. The risk also increases for people just driving near the distracted driver, not doing anything. Distracted driving puts more people than just you at risk. The minimal amount of time that your attention is taken from the road by looking at your phone, which if you are driving at approximately 55-60 mph you could travel the length of a football field! In that amount of time you could have hit who knows what! Over 1.3 million car crashes are caused by texting behind the wheel every YEAR.

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Hands-free technology is cheap and available

Its is not totally safe. It is safer than texting and driving but it still can be distracting. If you have a newer car it most definitely has a connectivity to Bluetooth, which can connect your phone to you car. So that you can speak and you can do things such as speak out loud and apps can transfer your voice into a text message. Or your phone can connect to your cars Bluetooth and when you receive a call it will immediately be accepted and it will connect to your cars speakers. So you can hear it. But, like texting man people have the habit to glance at their phone which is the problem

This can change.

Using Cell phones while driving, is a test of fate. We may never be able to totally eradicate the problem but we can certainly decrease it dramatically. Their use should be illegal while behind the wheel without a doubt in my mind. Making them illegal will help save billions of dollars, that could be used for more important government programs, save thousands of lives, and reduce the risk that you could get into an accident, while using or not using your cell phone. Using a cell phone while driving is a dangerous activity and puts your life, your passengers lives, pedestrians lives, and the lives of your fellow drivers, at risk.
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Bibliography

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"Texting and Driving Statistics - Distracted Driving Drives Up Risk."Edgarsnyder.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 June 2015. <https://www.edgarsnyder.com/car-accident/cause-of-accident/cell-phone/cell-phone-statistics.html>.


"Distraction’s Toll: $175 Billion a Year." Hands Free Info. N.p., 29 May 2014. Web. 12 June 2015. <http://handsfreeinfo.com/13346-distracted-costs/>.


"Distracted Driving." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 10 Oct. 2014. Web. 12 June 2015. <http://www.cdc.gov/motorvehiclesafety/distracted_driving/>.


"Motor Vehicle Occupant Protection F A C T S." Facts About Young Adults Ages 16 to 20. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 June 2015. <http://www.nhtsa.gov/people/injury/airbags/occupantprotectionfacts/young_adults.htm>.


Hahn, Dan. "A Sick Graph - Iraq War Spending vs. Spending on Renewable Energy - Solar Power Rocks." Solar Power Rocks. N.p., 30 Oct. 2007. Web. 12 June 2015. <http://www.solarpowerrocks.com/solar-trends/a-sick-graph-iraq-war-spending-vs-spending-on-renewable-energy/>. (Used for the energy example for costs)


Lohnmann, Raychelle Cassada. "Texting and Driving: A Deadly Decision."Psychology Today. N.p., 18 Sept. 2012. Web. 12 June 2015. <https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/teen-angst/201209/texting-and-driving-deadly-decision>


"Government Spending in the US." Government Spending in United States: Federal State Local for 2015. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 June 2015. <http://www.usgovernmentspending.com/>.

(Used for spending example)



"Don’t Text and Drive! Car Insurance Rates Will Increase After a Ticket."Car Insurance Comparison. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 June 2015. <http://www.carinsurancecomparison.com/will-a-ticket-for-texting-while-driving-increase-car-insurance-rates/>.


"Even Hands-free Texting While Driving Is Dangerous, Study Finds."CBSNews. CBS Interactive, 12 June 2013. Web. 14 June 2015. <http://www.cbsnews.com/news/even-hands-free-texting-while-driving-is-dangerous-study-finds/>.


"10 Reasons You Shouldn't Text and Drive." Driving Tests. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 June 2015. <http://driving-tests.org/beginner-drivers/10-reasons-you-shouldnt-text-and-drive/>.