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Texting while Driving - Essay Example

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Texting while Driving

The debate revolves around whether texting while driving should be made illegal and whether by banning this the rate of accidents caused by distraction will diminish.

Thesis: Texting while driving, fiddling with numerous devices in the car, including the cell phone is a primary factor for car accidents in the U.S.
Banning text messaging while driving will make drivers more self-aware of the consequences and will reduce the number of accidents caused by similar distractions.

Howie (2008) provides an example how tempted drivers who are lured to check all the more familiar beep on the cell phone notifying of received text message can be trapped by their curiosity and lose lots of money. Howie (2008) briefly explains how this is possible, describing how the driver reaches for the cell phone, believe that 60 seconds of quick typing to respond to the so urgent text will not cause any trouble. Suddenly, the car in front of you breaks to a halt so rapidly and unexpectedly that you are unable to react and crash into it. "During the claims process your insurance company starts checking your cell-phone communications in the run-up to the accident (Howie par. 3)." Now you have lost considerable amount of money, only because you can not control your addiction to cell phone texting.

Ramos (2009) mentions a Car and Driver study launched in June 2009 which questions the ability to text and drive safely. The study covers males between age 22 and 37 and measures their reactions while texting and driving and while drinking and driving. Afterwards they compare the data. The results show that the 22-year-olds driving at 35 mph needed additional 21 feet to stop while reading a text while the traffic light signaled red. However, if they were writing a text they needed extra 16 feet. "While reading a text and driving at 70 mph, the same subject traveled about 31 extra feet while typing. In comparison, he traveled half that - 15 extra feet - while drunk (Ramos par.6)." The 37-year-olds reached far worse scores. Although the results suggest ageism - the study openly indicates that no matter what age, even if you are using familiar cell, the chances of being distracted reading or sending text while driving soar. We also have to take into account that the experiment is done with no traffic lights or traffic jams, road signals, or pedestrians.
Thus, instigating laws to issue fines to drivers who text while driving and presenting harsher measures will make drivers pull aside and see the emergency message. On another note The Car and Driver study which Ramon (2009) familiarizes us with, imply that it is safer to drink and drive. Let us not delude ourselves and wait until the accidents caused by texting outnumber those caused by drunk driving to force the public to admit that both phenomenon are dangerous and unacceptable.
Counter-argument: Memmott (2009) referring to The New York Times explains the counter argument posing that the growing number of laws which prohibit texting while driving should not apply to trucker, because they lose connection with their dispatchers. Clayton Boyce (quot. Memmott) spokesman for the American Trucking Association says that: "Computers used by truckers require less concentration than phones. The trucks 'have a screen that has maybe two or four or six lines' of text, and they're not reading the screen every second (par.4)." However, truck drivers are not the only professional drivers whose daily duties require managing technological devices while behind the wheel. Taxi drivers, sales representatives and package deliverers have them too. Elaborating on the matter concerning the truck drivers the counter argu ...Show more

Summary

Explanation of Issue: "More than 158 billion text messages were sent in the USA in 2006, says USA Today, quoting CTIA-The Wireless Association figures (Howie par.17)." We can only presume how many of them are completed by people who drive and text at the same time…
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