Road accidents as a result of texting and driving are an epidemic that has raised concern over the years. Commuting to and from work sometimes takes a lot of time, thus people resort to texting and communicating to know how their friends are doing or to pass the time. It is argued by many to be perfectly safe – one urgent text or comment on a friend’s photo cannot possibly cause an accident. But the road is unpredictable, and one can never be too careful while behind the wheel. Texting while driving has proven to cause horrible accidents, wreck cars and ruin people’s lives. It is better to put the phone down and focus on the road than make one small mistake and deeply regret it.
Distraction when driving is very simple and one might not recognize it until an accident has already happened. According to Hamilton, Arnold, and Tefft, some people argue that it is not wrong to text when driving (2013). They justify it by saying that they have never had an accident, while others argue that they cannot cause one because they are very careful on the road. But it is not logical to cause a tragedy that will make another person suffer with a careless mistake behind the wheel. When somebody gets in the vehicle and pulls out the phone, he or she takes the risk of killing himself or someone else. By texting while driving a person is increasing the probability of getting into an accident. There are more cases of texting and driving than other traffic offense in the United States.
Texting while driving is very dangerous. Many people oppose the statement by saying that they are always in control of their vehicles, but the study shows that texting reduces their ability to navigate in the traffic. The driver, therefore, takes a lot of time to react during traffic jams on the busy roads since he is constantly looking at the screen of the phone to type and read messages. The minimal attention on the road increases the chances of the driver to cause accidents since he has no time to react to the situations as they occur (Mayhew, Robertson, Brown, & Vanlaar, 2013). Moreover, research shows that the people who text while driving accelerate instantly after stepping on the brakes as opposed to those who are not distracted when driving.
Most people assume that it is only teenagers who cause accidents while on the phone. That is not true since the adults also do it. Parents have also influenced their children to text while driving, thus setting a precedent that will remain a challenge to them. Riding in a car with the driver who risked his passengers’ lives by texting behind the wheel is something that forty percent of American teenagers have experienced. This means that this is a frequent occurrence among adults who set a bad example for children. Teenagers see it as something normal because their parents do it too. Whereas some look concerned, others seem not. Texting is the leading cause of the teenager death as a significant number of them die each day in accidents related to texting. They learn from their parents’ behavior and therefore, no one should text and drive (Elvik, 2011).
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To combat the problem, the government should pass a law to unify the texting while driving laws and punishments. The law will not interfere with the freedom of the citizen but it will help create order on the road. The government should also create awareness and educate people about the dangers of texting behind the wheel and send an important message to the future drivers (Marcoux, Vanlaar, & Robertson, 2012). This law should ban the texting drivers. Although banning the use of the phones would be met with resistance by many members, it would save hundreds of lives that would be lost as a result of accidents. Each year, a large number of deaths and injuries are caused by distracted drivers. The ban on texting while driving would help in reducing the amount immediately.
Furthermore, the government must make sure that the sanctions for violating the law are strong enough to tame the ignorant drivers. Massachusetts in the United States of America is one of the states with the strictest sanction against the traffic law offenders. The other countries should emulate it by putting the same effort. For instance, in the same state any driver found texting while driving pays a $100 fine, has his license suspended for sixty days, and attends the refresher course. However, most people oppose the bans and the punishments claiming that the government is too harsh on the citizens by enabling the legislation. By doing so, the government is not violating the right of the individuals, but it is safeguarding their lives. They say that the government has other important issues to solve such as creating jobs, funding education, and fighting inequalities. The argument is irrational since the government must play the role of protecting the citizens by all means possible.
The cell phone companies should take the responsibility for the most accidents that occur when the phone is on and the car is moving. They need to track the phones to check whether the drivers are texting and make them inactive. People should not see it as a way of invading their privacy or interfering with their freedom but to remind them that they are doing the wrong thing. Technology can also help monitor the driver’s activities and provide feedback to the necessary authority. Although most of them have attempted to create awareness of these dangers, there is a need to do more to find the solution to the problem (Copeland, 2010). Some might argue that they don’t have the ability to tame the people. Despite that, some companies have released applications to prevent the use of cell phones while driving a vehicle.
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