Mr. Jim Flick
11 December 2013
Banning Texting While Driving
Automobile crashes as a result of texting while driving is an epidemic that has taken our nation by storm over the past decade. People think they can drive safely while texting on their phones, or they don’t think nothing is going to happen while they are texting on their phones. Texting while driving must be stopped. To do this our government must take action to both uniformity to the laws and punishments bestowed on the offenders. But it is also vital that our government give educational programs that will help spread the dangers about texting while driving a car.
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Texting on a handheld device while driving is illegal in 41 states; calling is banned in 12. Sixty-nine percent of Americans that the Centers for Disease Control Surveyed in 2011 said “they had made a handheld call from the car in the previous month.” And though 98 percent of them said they knew it was wrong, half of adults surveyed by AT&T last year admitted they had texted while driving.
“Where u at”- These were the simple last words that Mariah West, a senior in high school who was one day away from graduation, saw in this world. On that fateful summer night, she was texting her friend on the way to the baseball game she was planning on attending. As she looked down at her phone to read the new text message, she lost control of her car, which proceeded to slide across the median, hit a bridge, and kill the young girl with a bright future. Officer Grant Hendrix of the Missouri State Highway Patrol was one of the first to arrive on the scene. He later described the horrific scene to reporters saying, “When I got to the scene, her face was disfigured from sliding down the roadway… Lying in the roadway in a large pool of blood I noticed her shoes and I thought this is a young girl. That’s the first thing I thought when I saw this. And at that point was when I noticed her cap and gown was still in her car. She was going to graduate the next day. It was just a really horrific scene all because of a senseless text message. It’s just sad, sorry; it’s just sad (“Texting While Driving Stories & Accidents”).
Texting and driving is one of the largest distractions in our nation. The progression of text messages, with more capable phones and larger numbers of people engaging than ever before, has turned into one of the largest epidemics to sweep our nation. People are constantly fixated on their phones, checking Twitter, Facebook and text messages. When these people get behind the wheel of a car, and start texting while on the road they are dangerous to themselves and to everyone else around them. Every year, 21% of fatal car crashes involving teenagers between the ages of 16 and 19 were the of using their cell phone while behind the wheel. This statistic is expected to grow as much as 4% every year. But, this is not just a problem among teen drivers. One-Fifth of adult drivers in the United States also report sending texting messages while driving (“Cell Phone & Texting Accidents”).
The United States government must take a stronger driving laws and punishment, as well as installing much more education about the dangers of texting behind the wheel to convey the much needed to the future drivers of the United States. There have been thirty-five states who have enacted complete bans on texting for all drivers. Another seven have banned it from novice drivers, or those who have their license but are under the age of eighteen, with three more banning it for only school bus drivers (“Map of Texting Bans”). This leaves seven more states that have...