The Dangers of Texting While Driving

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In today’s society, cell phones are indispensable for communication due to their convenient features. One such feature is SMS (Short Message Service), commonly known as text messages.

SMS, or “texting”, allows people to type and exchange messages using mobile phones. However, texting while driving is extremely dangerous. While some distractions are inevitable when driving, texting requires full attention and focus, which is why it should be banned in the United States.

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The Wireless Communications Device Law, which took effect on January 1, 2009, prohibits writing, sending, or reading text-based communication on an electronic wireless communications device while driving a motor vehicle in California. This legislation is enforced in various states and has sparked nationwide debates. In Florida, there is a proposed law known as “Heathers Law” that seeks to ban texting while driving. The law is named after Heather Hurd who tragically died because of a truck driver who was texting while operating the vehicle. (Source: Wikipedia)

Over the years, several accidents have gained considerable media attention due to drivers being engaged in texting. In 2007, a tragic incident occurred in western New York which resulted in the devastating loss of five teenage girls’ lives. That same year, another unfortunate event took place in Massachusetts and claimed the life of a 13-year-old bicyclist. (Source: Wikipedia) Furthermore, a recent report pointed out that a Stockton man met with a fatal accident while in North Sacramento and succumbed to his sustained injuries.

According to the California Highway Patrol spokesperson, a man lost control of his pickup truck while texting on his cell phone, as reported by News10. In relation to this issue, several studies have been conducted. One study in 2006 by the University of Utah revealed that individuals who texted while driving were equally impaired as those with a blood-alcohol level of 0.08 percent, according to Wikipedia. Another study in the same year conducted by Liberty Mutual Insurance Group and SADD found that instant and text messaging while driving ranked as the primary distraction for teenage drivers, also cited on Wikipedia.

Texting while driving is widely considered to be more dangerous than talking on a cell phone while driving. When individuals talk on a cell phone, they can maintain focus on the road and have one hand free, whereas texting necessitates looking away from the road and potentially using both hands for the phone. Additionally, there is a notable problem of people incorrectly assuming they can safely text while driving (Redelmeier). Furthermore, in recent times, there has been a growing emphasis on texting in cell phone technology.

Currently, smart phones, like I-phones and Blackberries, have become the most widely used phones. These newer models often include keyboards for easier text input. Additionally, these phones are referred to as PDA’s (personal digital assistants) and provide various features such as internet access, picture and video messaging, voice calling, and texting abilities. Ultimately, cell phones have evolved into compact handheld computers. It is alarming to consider the potential risk of encountering a driver who uses their phone to browse the internet while on the road.

Critics of laws against texting while driving have expressed concerns over the selective focus on text messaging as a source of distraction. They highlight that activities like eating or putting on makeup are not specifically outlawed. Moreover, they assert that it is vital to uphold communication while driving and that texting can be done safely in certain scenarios, like when stuck in traffic congestion. Nevertheless, even with the prohibition on texting, drivers still have the opportunity to communicate by making voice calls through hands-free devices, ensuring they remain connected to communication channels. (DMV-CA)

Text messaging is a mentally demanding activity, requiring focus and visual attention, which distinguishes it from tasks like changing the radio or applying makeup. Despite the specific distraction, driving while distracted poses a high level of danger to both the driver and other road users. Sen. Joe Simitian, a Palo Alto Democrat and author of California’s cell phone and text-messaging laws, emphasizes that texting while driving is extremely unsafe. It is perplexing why anyone would engage in such behavior. Therefore, there is an urgent need for a nationwide ban on texting while driving due to its distracting and dangerous nature.

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The Dangers of Texting While Driving. (2018, Jul 27). Retrieved from

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