Distracted Driving: Is one text really worth all of the consequences?

by lszko1 on September 13, 2013 - 11:39am

The Article, “Distracted Driving: Fast Lane to Disaster” that was published in May 2012, talks about how there is a recent rise in distracted driving because of the new digital age (cell phones, texting, navigational devices). More common now then ever people are texting/talking on the phone while driving. Distracted driving has always been an issue because people eat, drink, brush their hair, put on their makeup, check a map, change the radio station, etc., but the digital age has totally blown it out of proportion and multiplied the hazards. The Author expresses that drivers are now even more distracted with the technologies available to them.

According to the article, more than 15 Americans are killed, and more than 1,200 are injured in car crashes that involve distracted drivers each day. This is significant because it shows that distracted driving is a colossal issue in American lives. People are effected everyday by it and every person should become educated because it is a very preventable issue. Texting is a way of life now a days and most people can’t stand to go more than five or ten minutes with out looking at their phone. They have the urgency to text something, tweet something, check their e-mails, or whatever it may be and apparently it’s too hard for them to just wait until they are finished driving. But the act of waiting to send one simple, unimportant message isn’t that difficult and it could potentially save someone’s life. The article states that, “Texting is the most dangerous form of distracted driving; drivers who text are 23 times more likely to crash than non distracted drivers.” This is very shocking to me because I knew the risks were high but I didn’t think they were that drastic. Also, they state that many states have enacted laws to stop the use of mobile communication devices while driving, but enforcement is very hard. In my opinion, consequences of drivers who get caught texting and driving should be severe because the issue is so important. So, as the temptation to text/talk on the phone while driving is very strong, we should all resist the urge so that we are able to stop this on-going issue.

APA Reference:

“Distracted Driving: Fast Lane to Disaster”. (2012, May). Harvard Men’s Health Watch, 6-7

URL Link to Article:

http://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletters/harvard_mens_health_watch

 

 

Comments

I agree that drivers who get caught texting should be penalized more severely. In numbers, the accidents they cause probably exceed the ones caused by drunk drivers. This is probably due to the fact that the consequences for driving while being intoxicated have been taken very seriously. So why shouldn't we increase the penalties for texting while driving? A consequentialist, like you, would take into consideration all the deaths and injuries related to this issue. If a driver caught under the influence of alcohol loses his licenses, or in worse cases goes to jail, I think so should drivers who text.

I think you are absolutely right about this new age that we have entered, especially when concerning cell phones. There have been rising incidents with injuries and deaths coming from our need to text. For example, people who text while walking down stairs or crossing a street. I do not think that we have evolved socially to keep up with the new technology (social Darwinism).

As for the consequences, I do believe that they should be implemented severely. When in North Vancouver, BC. one of my friends got hit by a car by an individual on their cell phone. They had not noticed the stop sign. Rather than see how he was, they got defensive over the fact that he was not watching for them! This was in 2009 while laws were just beginning to take hold in Canada. The fact that they got defensive though is truly startling. I think you did a great job with your article.

It is true that the accidents caused by people on their cell phones while driving are very frequent. A more severe punishment, rather than just getting a fine when being caught, would maybe deter drivers who are obsessed with their electronic devices. However, the problem also lies in the lack of awareness that young drivers have these days. I see many public announcements about drinking and driving and also driving while being drowsy, but very little is said on texting while driving. There are written articles about it, as we can see by your post, but the media that our generation uses more, such as TV and videos on the Internet, are rarely used to transmit such an important message. So in my opinion, it is not only the law that should be reinforced, but also more effort should be put in raising this generation’s drivers awareness. It's great that you posted about this issue.

I agree with you 100%. Texting while driving is way too dangerous. This article discusses how we can punish the texters more, but it doesn't give advice on what we could do not to be tempted to drive. My idea is to simply put your phone on silent because you won't hear the ringtone and won't be super tempted to see the message, which will lead to responding to it.

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