Nowadays, a cell phone can solve numerous tasks anytime and anywhere. Along with this, it may create danger on the road if people text when driving because it is one of the riskiest activities. A great amount of people in the USA use their mobile devices while driving, and not only for talking but also for texting. It is important to realize that a cell phone is a dangerous thing for drivers because they pay attention to it instead of the traffic. Sending or reading a message as well as email take driver’s mind and eyes off the road, distracting from the task of safe driving

Reasons to Refrain from Texting while Driving

Currently, the number of car accidents has grown tremendously. For this reason, states and many municipalities have passed legislation prohibiting texting. According to the article “A Texting Driver’s Education” published on September 13, 2014 in The New York Times, when a driver is caught by a policeman, he or she must pay hundred dollar fine for their illegal behavior. Furthermore, many drivers consider that their insurance rates are rather high, and they grow every year. However, if the insurance company discovers that a person has received a citation from a policeman for texting, his/her rate will be increased or policy may even be dropped completely. A driver puts not only his/her life in danger but also the lives of passengers. It is not worth picking up the phone while driving because drivers who operate a car can damage other people. It would be horrible to live with a thought that carelessness has become a reason of somebody’s injury or death.

Texting and driving are incompatible risky activities because they put a driver into the state when he/she cannot navigate the road looking at the phone on his/her lap. Sending or reading messages take driver’s time the same as alcohol consumption. In their 2013 book, Understanding Global Health, ‎William Markle, Melanie Fisher, and ‎ Raymond Smego noted that in 2012, about 1.4 million car accidents occurred because of texting while driving. Thus, texting and driving endanger drivers, passengers, drivers sharing the road, and pedestrians. Many drivers often cannot refrain from checking their messages while driving. In this case, they can find a better solution than doing these things simultaneously. For example, it would be safer if a driver parks a vehicle in a safe place and checks his/her phone. Another solution may suggest using new technology (i.e. Bluetooth) to receive or send messages hands-free. Avoiding driving distractions is an essential precaution for every driver.

Driving Distractions

Driving distractions fall into three categories: cognitive, visual, and manual. Cognitive distractions take the driver’s mind off the task at hand, visual distractions take the driver’s eyes off the road, and manual distractions take the driver’s hands off the road. Thus, texting relates to all these three categories because it involves using eyes, hands, and mind. Cell phones encourage drivers to forget about basic safety measures. To avoid driving distractions, drivers should keep track of traffic, road conditions, other drivers, and any danger that may occur. They also need to monitor speed and car functioning. Cell phone use can keep drivers from doing these tasks. A New York Times article published on September 13, 2014, states that texting on a cell phone is a distraction from other tasks and activities. In their 2013 book, Understanding Global Health, ‎William Markle, Melanie Fisher, and ‎Raymond Smego assume that according to national surveys conducted in 2012, 18 percent of fatalities in distraction-related crashes happened because of cell phone distractions.

Furthermore, drivers who are distracted are four times more likely to get into serious-injury crashes. The dangers that involve using cell phones, especially texting while driving, have made many states enact laws that criminalize such behavior. Laws exist in some jurisdictions that prohibit the use of cell phones to text while driving, or, in some cases, to prohibit their use entirely, except the use of hands-free devices. According to Carroll’s book, Business Ethics: Brief Readings on Vital Topics from 2013, 37 of the 50 U.S. states have banned texting on mobile phones or other electronic devices, 10 states have made illegal the use of cell phones while driving.

Potential Measures to Prevent Driving Distractions

Preventive measures should be implemented to drivers who text while driving to improve vehicle safety and avoid crashes. Thus, the first measure is educating drivers about the danger of texting while they drive. Many drivers, especially under the age of twenty, do not realize the danger of cell phones to driving safety. Therefore, special programs should be provided in every state to educate drivers about the issue under observation. Legislation and enforcement can prevent texting while driving due to fines that are rather heavy. Moreover, it is necessary to restrict cell phone use while driving. Nowadays, active measures target drivers and include interventions to reduce distracted driving.

Many findings reveal that texting while driving is considered one of the most dangerous forms of distracted driving since it involves all three forms of distraction. In her 2013 book, Business Ethics: Brief Readings on Vital Topics, Archie Carroll notes that according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, studies have shown a 23 times likelihood of crashing if a driver is texting while driving. The topic of text messaging via the cell phone has become one of the most urgent public concerns because people are sure that they make a great contribution to traffic crashes. One of the most effective ways of potential measures to prevent driving distractions is self-assessment when drivers can understand the danger of texting while driving.

Conclusion

Although the invention of mobile phones is of the greatest importance to the population, their use may be dangerous while driving. Texting has been proven to be a rather dangerous distraction that can increase injuries and fatalities on the roads. It happens because cell phones cover three categories that can affect drivers: cognitive, visual, and manual. All these three categories create the danger to drivers, passengers, other vehicles, and pedestrians. The research has demonstrated that drivers should realize this danger and do not use their phones while driving to protect safety.

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