Imagine this: You have a date scheduled with your girlfriend or boyfriend but oversleep. You wake up in a panic, already an hour late. You don’t want them to think you stood them out, so you don’t even bother changing your clothes or fixing your hair. Instead, you hastily head to the car. While driving, you decide to send them a text to let them know you didn’t forget and you’re on your way. Little did you know, you were actually on your way to the hospital, with a pit stop at the county jail.
Although it may be hard to believe, in just a quick 2-second glance at your cell phone, you could potentially miss seeing a stop sign and a mini van with three young children inside. As a result, these children tragically lose their lives and are now laid to rest in a casket. Meanwhile, you could potentially face a prison sentence of 25 years to life. Unfortunately, this situation happens frequently and can impact anyone, including yourself.
This discussion focuses on the hazards of using cell phones while driving, encompassing alarming statistics, a real-life example, laws governing cell phone use, and suggested preventive measures to reduce the catastrophic effects of texting. With the escalating number of cell phones and users, there has been a parallel rise in cell phone usage while driving. It is essential to acknowledge that using your cell phone while operating a vehicle carries substantial dangers for both yourself and others.
Cell phones are a significant distraction for drivers, diverting their attention from the road and surroundings to a small screen. Even a quick glance at a phone can be dangerous, causing drivers to ignore their surroundings and lose focus. Texting while driving distracts drivers for about 4.6 seconds, which is equivalent to driving blindly for the length of an entire football field at 55 mph. These distractions can result in severe and fatal consequences. According to the Department of Transportation, cell phones contribute to one million accidents every year, leading to 500,000 injuries and 6,000 deaths.
Experienced and cautious drivers may believe that these incidents could never happen to them. However, it is crucial to note that drivers under the age of 20 face the highest risk due to more distractions and less experience. A study conducted by the Virginia Tech Driving Institute found that individuals who text while driving are 23 times more likely to be involved in a car accident.
Several studies have shown that texting while driving with a cell phone is more risky than driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol because it distracts one’s attention. Additionally, using mobile phones while driving is not only dangerous and unsafe but also against the law. Handheld phone conversations are banned in 10 states, and 32 states have restrictions on cell phone use for new drivers. Furthermore, text messaging is prohibited for all drivers in 39 states. It is important to note that these actions are considered illegal in New York.
Engaging in these actions will result in a fine of $150 and the addition of 2 points on your driver’s license. It is important to note that this consequence only applies if you are caught before causing an accident. However, what happens legally if you cause the death of a passenger due to texting while driving? The severity of convictions can vary depending on factors like the number of people affected and the extent of damage caused. Possible charges range from motor vehicle homicide to negligent operation of a motor vehicle, resulting in a serious accident while texting, potentially leading to a 15-year suspension of your driver’s license. If you still have any doubts about how serious this issue is, let us consider Aaron Deaveau’s case, who at 18 years old experienced firsthand the consequences.
Previous statements have indicated that Aaron Deaveau’s life has been permanently harmed due to receiving a single text message. I am not proposing that you get rid of your cell phones and stop using them completely, as this would be impractical and unnecessary. However, what I am advocating for is minimizing cell phone use while driving. The risks and illegalities linked to this behavior have been demonstrated through different statistics and examples. Therefore, I urge you: avoid texting while operating a vehicle. The momentary distraction caused by one text message is not worth putting your own life or the lives of others in danger.