Perhaps, even if they do, the matter has not been taken seriously considering that this issue has been brought to awareness for quite some time and yet the number of people engaging in this practice continues to increase, as proven by these reports. Furthermore, the figures just prove that the cause of the problem is indeed existent, which is something that has to be worked on if the problem is to be eradicated. The Effect on Driver’s Performance Meanwhile, the problem at hand is the danger that texting while driving brings.
How texting while driving causes harm is perhaps the most important matter to point out. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has coined the term, distracted driving, which is defined as “driving while doing another activity that takes your attention away from driving” (“Distracted Driving”). Texting which, “simultaneously involves manual, visual, and cognitive distraction, is among the worst of all driver distractions” (Vegega, Jones & Monk 2) because according to researches compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the use of hand-held gadgets such as cellular phones while driving impedes a driver’s performance for the reason that visual and auditory clues essential to avoid accidents are more likely to be missed (“Policy Statement and Compiled FAQ”).
Someone who texts and drives is unable to monitor the road situation; hence, the likelihood of a crash increases. As a matter of fact, in a recently published study, it was stated that texting is “associated with the highest levels of driving performance degradation” (qtd. in Vegega, Jones & Monk 2). This can be attributed to several reasons. One, drivers who text while driving have longer reaction times – for instance, in stepping on the brakes and reacting to traffic signals (“Mobile Phone Use” 1).
Another thing is that distractions like texting during driving affects the driver’s ability to stay in the correct lane and maintain appropriate following distances (“Mobile Phone Use” 1). In addition, a University of Utah research goes as far as comparing the reaction time of a teen driver to that of an old man. It was said that a teen driver on a mobile device is not different from that of a 70-year-old who is not using any (“Don’t Text and Drive”).
Another study by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute even found that the likelihood for texting while driving to result to a vehicular accident is six times more than driving when drunk (“Don’t Text and Drive”).
(With Website URL)
“Distracted Driving.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 10 Oct. 2014. Web. 29 Apr. 2015. <http://www.cdc.gov/motorvehiclesafety/distracted_driving/>.
“Don’t Text and Drive. Let’s Save Some Lives.” Parkview Trauma Centers, 2011. Web. 29 Apr. 2015. <http://www.donttextdrive.com/statistics/>.
“Mobile Phone Use: A Growing Problem of Driver Distraction.” World Health Organization, n.d. Web. 29 Apr. 2015. <http://www.who.int/violence_injury_prevention/publications/road_traffic/distracted_driving_summary.pdf>.
Naumann, R. “Mobile Device Use While Driving — United States and Seven European Countries, 2011.” Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 62.10 (2013): 177-182. Print. <http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/pdf/wk/mm6210.pdf>.
Pickrell, T. M. “Driver Electronic Device Use in 2012.” Traffic Safety Facts Research Note Report No. DOT HS 811 884 (2014). Print. <http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/811884.pdf>.
“Policy Statement and Compiled FAQs on Distracted Driving.” National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. US Department of Transportation, n.d. Web. 28 Apr. 2015. <http://www.nhtsa.gov/Driving+Safety/Distracted+Driving+at+Distraction.gov/Policy+Statement+and+Compiled+FAQs+on+Distracted+Driving>.
Vegega, M., Jones, B., & Monk, C. “Understanding the Effects of Distracted Driving and Developing Strategies to Reduce Resulting Deaths and Injuries: A Report to Congress.” National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Report No. DOT HS 812 053 (2013). Print. <http://www.distraction.gov/downloads/pdfs/812053-UnderstandingEffectsDistractedDrivingReportToCongress.pdf>.