Please Don't Text And Drive

Source

According to recent studies the number of accidents involving distracted drivers has increased significantly in recent years. Driver distraction causes accidents. Text messaging while driving is a huge distraction.Twice as dangerous as talking on the phone, it has been shown to pose the same risk as driving while intoxicated with a blood alcohol content of .08. In fact, some law enforcement agencies are considering it as having replaced the DUI as the most dangerous driving hazard.

Driving simulator experiments have shown that both teens and adults sped up, weaved across lanes and hit virtual pedestrians while texting and using MP3 players. Coupled with the fact that the typical teen sends approximately 750 text messages weekly (Neilson Study) this data is especially disturbing.

While loud music use to be feared as a distraction, the new concern is that with music at least eyes are on the road. When text messaging and driving this is not the case. The hard cold fact comes from studies at the Virginia Tech Driving Institute: A person text messaging while driving is 23 more times likely to have an accident.



Legal Implications

States in the U.S. and other nations have varying laws for cell phone use with some prohibiting hand held devices totally. Other states treat cell phone use as part of a larger distracted driver issue. Thanks to the sharing of victim's and survivor's testimonials, pictures and videos state legislatures are taking concerns to heart. For a continually updated list of the laws from state to state go to the GHSA website.

With the passing of distracted driver laws to include specifically banning texting while driving legal implications must be considered. Although it may be difficult in a criminal court to implicate drivers in distracted driving charges it is not impossible. Charges of gross vehicular homicide have been filed.

In civil cases, the probability for implication is even greater. When texting is determined as the cause of a traffic related accident resulting in traumatic brain injuries and other bodily harm or worse there could be grounds for a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit. It is a lose-lose situation with lives ruined or taken on both sides.

Arguments continue about what behaviors behind the wheel should be banned. Adjusting the radio, reading, applying make-up and eating are among behaviors considered to be distracting. But common sense rules. Texting while driving and reading are the most dangerous for one reason: the person takes their eyes off the road long enough for tragedy to strike.


States Are Now Beginning To Ban Text Messaging While Driving
States Are Now Beginning To Ban Text Messaging While Driving | Source
Source
Current Pie Chart Showing Leading Causes of TBI.
Current Pie Chart Showing Leading Causes of TBI. | Source

Medical Implications

According to the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control the number one cause of death for young people aged 16-19 has traditionally remained to be fatal car crashes. Teen and young adults aged 15-24 account for the largest percentage of vehicle crash injuries. (For current statistics go to the NCIPC website.)

Young people are not as adept at recognizing dangerous situations as adults. According to modern brain research the frontal lobe of the brain does not fully develop until around age 25. The frontal lobe is the part of the brain involved in predicting and decision making. Therefore teens and young adults under age 25 can be expected to be poorer at decision making, appropriate judgement and rational thinking; all important skills for personal safety.

According to the NCIPC Motor vehicle accidents are currently the second leading cause of Traumatic Brain Injuries following falls as the first. The brain "floats" within the skull and is protected by cerebral fluids. With most blows to the head these protective mechanisms cushion the brain against external forces, but if the head impacts with enough force these protective mechanisms are insufficient. If the head strikes an immovable object such as a dashboard or windshield the accelerating head stops abruptly on impact. Because it is "floating" the brain keeps on going in the direction the head was traveling and crashes against the inside of the skull.

Depending on the severity TBI can have a devastating effect on the victim and the entire family. The long-term effects of TBI can be categorized as cognitive, motor, memory and social- psychological disorders. Of all the symptoms and limitations associated with TBI social- psychological disorders will be the most difficult to tolerate and re-mediate. Unlike those with pre-birth disabilities the survivor can recall what life was like before the trauma.

Jabra Freeway Bluetooth In-Car Speakerphone (U.S. Retail Packaging)
Jabra Freeway Bluetooth In-Car Speakerphone (U.S. Retail Packaging)

a voice controlled app that allows you to call, send or respond to emails and text messages, or post to social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter--all by voice

 

Taking Action Against Texting And Driving

The Impulse to respond to a text message is strong, especially for the teens. The best prevention against accidents from texting and driving is to turn off the phone. As adults it is important to be role models. Mute the sound or turn the cell phone off while driving. Model pulling over to do anything that is distracting to driving.

Some criticize using scare tactics but it is important to realize the damage and consequences of accidents involving negligence. Exposing teens and young adults to testimonies and true stories can be powerful deterrents. Driver education programs teach about the dangers of speed, DUI and other wreckless driving with true life videos.Those type of videos should also be used to demonstrate the dangers of texting and driving.Those who have students or work as teachers or other personnel in high school should make sure that texting and driving is being addressed.

Technology can offer solutions now with new applications being developed. GPS tracking devices can help parents control cell phone use for teens. Blue-tooth hands free devices can help keep both hands on the steering wheel which can be important when avoiding certain sudden situations in traffic. Speech command over touch screens such as with the new Siri on iPhone 4S allows spoken text to be sent to the name of the person spoken

Arguments over what should and should not be distracting to driving will continue as states and nations debate laws. As with anything, common sense and common sense solutions will be our best guarantee in avoiding the tragedies of auto crashes.

Following is an emotionally powerful video produced by AT&T in cooperation with those that lost loved ones and one victim of TBI due to accidents involving texting and driving.

copyright; rebeccamealey written for Hubpages.com

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Comments 59 comments

waleeds profile image

waleeds 4 years ago from Islamabad,Pakistan

one of the most useful and beautiful hubs and deserves to be called as hub of the day!! based on the practical information and blunders that nearly all individuals commit these days!!

thanks for sharing this, voted up!


rebeccamealey profile image

rebeccamealey 4 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA Author

Thank you for the nice compliment. I hope it saves a life or two some how.


tirelesstraveler profile image

tirelesstraveler 4 years ago from California

Why are texting drivers not charged with reckless driving. I believe reckless driving has stiffer penalties than the average anti-text laws. A driver weaving and driving erratically,texting or not,is unsafe.


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon

i got a $280 ticket for doing that (well it was actually for careless driving) ;-)


rebeccamealey profile image

rebeccamealey 4 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA Author

Good Point, tirelesstraveler. Be careful, PDXKaraokeGuy!


tarajeyaram profile image

tarajeyaram 4 years ago from Wonderland

Thank you for posting this hub. Motor vehicle accidents are the number one cause of death in young adults. Voted up and shared it. Thank you! Happy New Year!


Ardie profile image

Ardie 4 years ago from Neverland

I'm glad Ohio finally made it illegal to text and drive. I still see people doing it all the time but like I saw you say in one comment - if it saves even one life then its worth it. Great hub!


molometer profile image

molometer 4 years ago

I really think these people need help. What can be that important that you have to text while driving or answering a phone for that matter?

There have been countless studies that prove that using a phone while driving has the same effect as driving drunk. When we get into a car turn the phones off you are not that important; that you have to answer the phone when driving. And you may save someone's life.

Good advice. Voted up and useful.


RTalloni profile image

RTalloni 4 years ago from the short journey

Well done! I agree, this is an award winner. Everyone needs to get this message.

Voted up.


medicaljournal profile image

medicaljournal 4 years ago from US

Good job rebeccamealey, Very informative hub! thanks to share


MazioCreate profile image

MazioCreate 4 years ago from Brisbane Queensland Australia

Great hub about a problem that is growing exponentially. I'm always horrified when I see a driver nonchantly chatting on their mobile phone. I don't why I'm still amazed when I see it, because I witness this on a regular basis here on the Sunshine Coast. When will some people learn? Maybe they haven't lost family in car accidents. It is all too easy to happen and the consequences live on with everyone.


rebeccamealey profile image

rebeccamealey 4 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA Author

My thoughts exactly! Thanks for the comments!


cebutouristspot profile image

cebutouristspot 4 years ago from Cebu

This is a global problem that everybody is hook on. No matter how good you think you are in texting. While driving you should avoid any distraction. A second can spell a different between life and death for someone else.


jeyaramd profile image

jeyaramd 4 years ago from Mississauga, Ontario

The roads would be a lot more safer if more people read this hub and took it to heart. You really have captured the issue of our times. I concur with many of your thoughts on this important subject. An inept driver does not only have to be one that is drinking behind the wheel.

Congratulations on your nomination on http://hubpages.com/community/HubNugget-New-Years-...


ripplemaker profile image

ripplemaker 4 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

It takes only a second to glance away and that's when accidents happen. Yes the urge to respond to a text while driving is there. I too can feel that and have learned to ignore it. Thank you for writing about this very important subject.

Congratulations on your Hubnuggets nomination. Yes jeyaramd has posted the link already or you can also check your email...have fun as you read and vote on the Hubnuggets! Have a wonderful new year ahead of you. :)


rebeccamealey profile image

rebeccamealey 4 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA Author

Thank you ripplemaker for the insightful comment.

Thanks jeyaramd for the link! I wasn't sure if I was sending the right one out to folks or not. It is kind of confusing!


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

Here in Ontario they started handing out fines for cell phone use while driving I think about a year ago. You still see so many people driving while talking away. It really infuriates me. The fine here can be anywhere up to 500.00 for any handheld electronic device while driving.

Excellent article!


rebeccamealey profile image

rebeccamealey 4 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA Author

Very interesting! That's a fairly hefty fine, and I'll bet it helps cut down on accidents. Thanks for commenting Susan.


Millionaire Tips profile image

Millionaire Tips 4 years ago from USA

Congratulations on your HubNugget nomination. Distracted driving is bad in general - I don't think people should even talk on their cell phones while driving - and definitely not taking their eyes off the road to text. Very important topic - voted up.


rebeccamealey profile image

rebeccamealey 4 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA Author

Thank you, Mill Tips. I know it is tough but if it takes obeying strict laws for the good of all, I am willing. It is just too important. I have young adult children and I know how they can be!


wordscribe43 profile image

wordscribe43 4 years ago from Pacific Northwest, USA

Awesome hub on a very important topic. It's illegal in Oregon, but I still see people chatting away and texting while driving. It makes me soooo angry, it's every bit as dangerous as drunk driving, imho. Voted for your hub in the hubnuggets contest. Good luck and congrats!


DonnaCosmato profile image

DonnaCosmato 4 years ago from USA

You have done an excellent job of presenting this crucial information in a fair and unbiased way (no scare tactics here!) Congratulations on your HubNugget nomination...I voted this up.


Lui Ko: Private Student Loans 4 years ago

Texting and driving. What a toxic cocktail!!

And if it's this bad in the US of A, what's the prognosis of those in the land of the Acropolis?

N E Way, Best of British luck to you.

Adore the concept of your site, by the bye. In the famous words of our muscle proud Arnold S, "I'll be back" (if you'll have me)

:)


Ali Ahn (Car Credit) 4 years ago

We tend to forget that a car is a LETHAL WEAPON. A post on http://carcredita.com describes how a bus driver was fired on the spot for driving and texting at the same time. And so he should have been. What a Galactically stupid act!!!


rebeccamealey profile image

rebeccamealey 4 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA Author

An original and accurate metaphor! Thanks for commenting Ali Ahn!


everymom profile image

everymom 4 years ago from Massachusetts

Congratulations on your Hubnugget nomination. Thank you for writing on this topic; it is not only topical to our present day, but definitely "evergreen!" I'm even considering shutting the phone off before I even get into the car. I mean, we're supposed to stay safe, but even when people know you are probably driving, e.g., to meet _them_!, they continue to "check in" via text messaging! I mean, seriously?!


MrRockster profile image

MrRockster 4 years ago from Maryland

Great Article


rebeccamealey profile image

rebeccamealey 4 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA Author

Thanks all, for the insightful comments and for the votes.


DougBerry profile image

DougBerry 4 years ago from Abilene, TX

Congratulations on the HubNugget nomination. HubNougat might be tastier, though.


rebeccamealey profile image

rebeccamealey 4 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA Author

LOL .A bigger paycheck would be even tastier. Thank you!


rebeccamealey profile image

rebeccamealey 4 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA Author

But a life saved of tragedy? Priceless.


teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 4 years ago

The information about the frontal lobe is fascinating. This explains many things about teen driving decisions. I hope that we can find a solution to the driving & texting in the near future. Great job on writing this hub. Voted up!


crochet48 4 years ago

Very well said and extremely important. I have an under-25-year-old son and he needs to read this. Thank you.

Congrats on the Hubnugget nomination!


Angie Jardine profile image

Angie Jardine 4 years ago from Cornwall, land of the eternally youthful mind ...

Important and valuable hub, rebecca. I cannot believe there are people out there that might class this as scare mongering! The statistics clearly show this is genuine problem.

Frankly I would ban these people from driving. Risking killing yourself or others just to send some inane text (and let's face it, we're not talking important messages here) just shows you really haven't got enough sense to be allowed to drive.


rebeccamealey profile image

rebeccamealey 4 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA Author

Thanks teaches12345 for the compliment. Crochet48, I have a 28 year old who use to. I think he finally stopped, Guess that frontal lobe solidified. Thanks Angie, you are so right!


ssmith1534 profile image

ssmith1534 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

Very well written hub. Definitely makes the case. Keep writing!


Amber522 profile image

Amber522 4 years ago

Thank you for writing this. This is such an important message to get out. It still amazes me to see how stupid some people can be. I passed a guy the other day on the interstate that was talking on one phone and texting on the other while driving. I just don't get why people think a call or a text is more important than the lives of them and those around them. I voted this up and will be SHARING. Great hub!


rebeccamealey profile image

rebeccamealey 4 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA Author

OMG!That guy spells disaster. I hope he will see a video like the one here and wake up! Thanks for the vote up an SHARING!


Brett.Tesol profile image

Brett.Tesol 4 years ago from Somewhere in Asia

This is something that needs to change. People just don't realize the risk. I don't understand why people feel the need to text/call and drive. If you are stuck in traffic, fine ... but while you are driving, there is a high enough change of crashing already.

SHARING this one, as it literally ally could save lives.


Longhunter 4 years ago

Tennessee made it illegal to text and drive but I see people doing it all the time. The police can't enforce it unless they see it and these people won't change until they kill themselves or someone else.

Great hub, Rebecca.


mljdgulley354 profile image

mljdgulley354 4 years ago

This is a great hub. While working at a restaurant we lost one of our teen servers as she pulled out of the parking lot onto the highway in front of a car she didn't see because she was texting. She was killed instantly and the passenger was shook up but came into the restaurant to report what had happened.


dinkan53 profile image

dinkan53 4 years ago from India

Mobile phones are becoming one of the leading reasons for road accidents now after that of dunked driving accidents. Government has to take necessary actions to stop this, may be with huge fine or can be more strict as cancelling license. Nice work, rated as useful!


kelleyward 4 years ago

great hub! Very useful. It's so easy to do but can lead to so much destruction. Thanks again!


rebeccamealey profile image

rebeccamealey 4 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA Author

Thanks for the SHARE Brett. If people watch that video it just may well save lives.


rebeccamealey profile image

rebeccamealey 4 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA Author

It is difficult to catch them. Such a problem. I hope technology can address these issues.


rebeccamealey profile image

rebeccamealey 4 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA Author

What a sad story. Thank you for SHARING!


rebeccamealey profile image

rebeccamealey 4 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA Author

Thanks. Technology may be the only way to address this!


rebeccamealey profile image

rebeccamealey 4 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA Author

Thanks for stopping by, kelleyward


Rick Wood profile image

Rick Wood 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

This is a wonderfully informative and insightful article; thank you so much for posting! I had a coworker text and otherwise screw around with his phone while driving, and it drove me crazy! There are way too many bad drivers as it is without texting being a factor, and hopefully either people will come to their senses or phone companies will come out with phones that automatically disable calls or texts upon entering a vehicle. Thanks again for posting this!


rebeccamealey profile image

rebeccamealey 4 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA Author

Thanks! I like that idea (disabled calls).I think technology will be the answer.


Dancilla profile image

Dancilla 4 years ago from El Paso

This hub is very useful, so true what you wrote. I know people who text and drive at same time, it is kind of scary especially if I am riding with them.


rebeccamealey profile image

rebeccamealey 4 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA Author

Tell them not to! Thanks for the comment!


Alastar Packer profile image

Alastar Packer 4 years ago from North Carolina

Saw the photo Rebecca and went yikes! You've got some facts here was unaware of, like the same risk of texting and the blood alcohol level. Some interesting medical implications too. Suppose Ga. has an anti texting law as does N.C. It is dangerous, no doubts about it. Btw, are you familiar with Commerce? Wrote a story about some incident there.


sgbrown profile image

sgbrown 4 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

Excellent hub! I cannot understand why people can't realize how very dangerous it is to text and drive. One of sons, who is in his 30s, got caught by his dad, texting while driving. We guilted him into quitting, we hope! I hope Oklahoma passes a law very soon! Voted up and awesome! Have a safe day!!! :)


rebeccamealey profile image

rebeccamealey 4 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA Author

Thanks sgbrown. keep checking, I think most states are on the bandwagon with this. I know GA has. Good luck, the young guys think they are invincible!


lindacee profile image

lindacee 4 years ago from Southern Arizona

Great Hub! Here in Las Vegas,traffic deaths have risen nearly 50 percent and pedestrian fatalities have increased by 200 percent from first quarter of 2011 compared to the same period this year! Authorities are linking the increase in fatalities, in part, to illegal texting and cell phone usage. Now they are saying hands-free is not even safe (I heartily agree). We have laws in place, but apparently that hasn't made much of an impact. I believe the municipalities are going to start cracking down on distracted driving of any kind. Let's hope so! Thanks for the informative Hub! Voted UP, useful and interesting.


rebeccamealey profile image

rebeccamealey 4 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA Author

Thank you for those votes. Interesting statistics. It is difficult to crack down on this activity. I think strict laws like these are a great start. Most kids are so young when they start driving!


Dancilla profile image

Dancilla 4 years ago from El Paso

I know I already commented on this hub, but you will find this interesting. In the city I live in, a way to stop people from texting and talking while driving is if they get a ticket for the first time when caught texting or driving, their ticket can get dismissed by them accepting to put a bumper sticker on their car saying No Texting or No Talking while driving. They either get the bumper sticker or pay their fine. I found that to be pretty interesting.


rebeccamealey profile image

rebeccamealey 4 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA Author

Sometimes things like that work better! Thanks for sharing this, Dancilla!

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