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Texting while driving - Research Paper Example

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Jennifer Harrison Professor Amrine English 50 31 May 2011 Texting While Driving It has been proved umpteen times that texting while driving can lead to disasters. Considering the seriousness of the situation, many administrations have already banned using mobile while driving…
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Texting while driving
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Download file to see previous pages Despite the best efforts from the part of governments and law enforcement agencies, there was a 28 percent increase in the number of accidents over the period from 2005 to 2008. Many people accept the fact that they resort to use cell phone while driving; a practice that takes away many lives and that makes many people incapacitated for their entire lives. It is surprising to note that in sharp contradiction with the popular belief, it is adults who are more likely to resort to texting while driving. According to the a Pew Research Centre study, 47 percent of adults do this while only 34 percent teenagers admit doing the same (Distraction.gov). When police officers find it easy to catch those who talk on phone while driving, it is difficult for them to find those who are texting. It is generally pointed out that enforcement of a texting ban is not an easy task as it requires officers to identify an act that usually takes place in a driver’s lap. Despite all these issues associated with the use of mobile while driving, it is rather ironic to note that the car manufacturers are not paying any attention to this issue at all. Instead, they are preparing their next generation vehicles with more entertainment. To illustrate, Ford rolls out Twitter and Pandora as a part of their dashboard console entertainment; an invitation card to disasters. It seems that despite the large numbers of accidents, people do not fully understand the graveness of the problem, or are unwilling to mend their ways as they are addicted to mobile. A study conducted by the Virginia tech Transportation Institute (cnet. News) found that those who send text message while driving are twenty-three times more likely to have a crash than the non-distracted drivers (LeBeau). However, the study found a much lesser possibility of accident when the driver is talking on a phone. In this case, the possibility of accident is 1.3 times higher than that of a non-distracted driver. At this juncture, it seems useful to look into the NHTSA study that reveals that 80 percent of crashes and 60 percent of near-crashes are the result of some sort of driver distraction. According to the study, the principal forms of distraction while driving are cell phone use, trying to handle moving objects inside the vehicle, giving attention to another event outside the vehicle, reading while driving, and trying to apply makeup. According to experts, texting is more dangerous than talking on phone. According to studies, drivers who resort to text messaging take 400 percent more time off the road. In addition, they are 70 percent less likely to keep proper lane. While the driver who talks on phone is able to watch the road, the one who is texting has to look at his or her hands, thus, unable to watch the road ahead. Despite all these frightening facts, people do not seem to change their habits. As reported by Bruno (in USA Today), the reason is simple in the opinion of James Katz, director of the Center for Mobile Communications at the Rutgers University. According to him, it is basic human nature to believe that they can handle a situation better than others even when they are aware of the dangers involved. As Pittman (66) points out, it is not possible for the US citizens to easily forget the 2008 train disaster that killed 25 people and injured 138 people. In the accident, a Metrolink Commuter Train collided with a Union Pacific freight train. According ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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