Argument for Ban on Text Messaging While Driving
Road accidents continue to rise every year despite efforts by various authorities and even vehicle manufacturers to ensure safety of all road users. Research statistics show that most of the accidents are caused by distracted driving. Distracted driving includes various activities while behind the wheel such as receiving a call, using the cell phone, grooming, text messaging, talking to passengers and adjusting the radio or music system. Although all these activities distract driving, text messaging is the most serious since it requires visual, manual and cognitive attention from the driver. Therefore, the prohibition policy against sending text messages while operating a vehicle should be implemented everywhere to ensure the safety of all road users, as well as to reduce road carnage, considering that this practice poses a danger to all road users.
I support the policy banning driving while text messaging since this form of distraction puts the road users at a significant danger and increases the chances of an accident significantly. Although many Americans think driving while intoxicated with alcohol is the most dangerous act on the road, the truth is that driving while text messaging is four times more dangerous than driving while intoxicated. Although many may argue against this fact, one should consider driving on a highway at a speed of about 55 miles per hour while blindfolded. Statistics show driving while text messaging distracts the driver for an average of five seconds. While traveling at a speed of 55 miles an hour, text messaging is equivalent to driving across a football pitch while blindfolded.
An accident does not require minutes to happen. However, it happens within seconds and usually before one can react. Considering that text messaging takes away much of the driver’s cognitive attention, it slows down reaction on the road. The fact that text messaging distracts the driver for almost five seconds provides enough time to cause a crash that puts the lives of people around in danger. Further statistics show that crashes involving drivers who are text messaging are around four times more likely to cause serious injuries, and probably death, than other crashes. Currently, majority of states have banned text messaging when driving while some have even banned the use of cellular gadgets and phones altogether while driving. This is after statistics indicate text driving as the current leading cause of accident on the road, replacing driving under the influence.
A distracted driver not only poses a significant risk to his or her life, but also does so to the lives of other road users. On a busy highway, the risk is greater and most likely to involve more than one vehicle. Text messaging while operating motor vehicles has replaced driving under the influence as the leading cause of death and injuries from road accidents in teenage drivers. This is because facts show that young drivers who engage in the act of sending text messages while behind the wheel are 23 times more liable from crashes than drivers who do not engage in text messaging while driving.
Clearly, all statistics indicate that driving while text messaging is the most dangerous distraction on the road to a driver. It increases the chances of crashing to about 23 times more than driving without distraction while it is four times more dangerous than driving under the influence. The fact that it is more dangerous than driving while intoxicated means it is only logical to ban it since it poses more danger on the roads. Banning text messaging not only protects the drivers who engage in this activity, but also other road users. Therefore, this ban is necessary to reduce road carnage considering it is the leading cause of accidents in the United States.