Is There A Solution To Texting While Driving?
Texting While Driving History
Over the course of recent years there have been an increasing number of accidents and deaths related to texting while driving and the use of cell phones while driving. Teens, college students, truck drivers, corporate executives and the like have all suffered from DWD's, (Driving While Distracted) but most have never stop. With the increasing number of deaths and car accidents related to cell phones and driving, lawmakers are forced to find ways to reduce risk and increase driver safety by creating legislation that prevents or limits the use of cell phones while driving.
According to Bob Rooney, CNN reporter, "federal safety regulators have proposed a set of guidelines for states to create laws that would ban text messaging while driving. Rooney also reports, "the proposed legislation, prepared by National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and industry advisers, would authorize law enforcement officers to stop a vehicle and issue a citation to drivers who are texting while driving." The new sample bill will aid states in banning texting while driving
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Cell Phones While Driving Statistics
- According to NHTSA research, nearly 6,000 people died in 2008 in crashes involving a distracted or inattentive driver, and more than half a million were injured.
- According to a study conducted by Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI), a truck driver texting while driving is 23.2 times more likely to get into an accident than a trucker paying full attention to the road.
- Also according to VTTI, for every 6 seconds of drive time, a driver sending or receiving a text message spends 4.6 of those seconds with their eyes off the road. This makes texting while driving the most distracting of all cell phone related tasks.
- Each year, 21% of fatal car crashes involving teenagers between the ages of 16 and 19 were the result of cell phone usage. This result has been expected to grow as much as 4% every year.
Psychological Impact of Attachment
The word attachment can be defined as a supplementary part or accessory. The leading idea of attachment, according to Webster's Dictionary, is that of being bound to some object by strong and lasting ties. In today's society, a cell phone is not just a device that allows users to communicate wireless. It is an extension of the owner's personality, culture, beliefs, and social status.
A cell phone can be otherwise known as an individual's personal/administrative assistant, alarm clock, radio, internet, social media, news, map, mp3 player, and more. Building meaningful relationships and staying connected with friends, family, customers, and business partners is highly important. People may often find themselves checking their phones for a new text message, email, facebook notification, or tweet to "stay in the game" and "keep up with the latest news". Owning a cell phone makes some individuals feel important, to others its convenient, and to some it's all they have and can afford.
No one likes to feel disconnected or left out. Because of the strong tie and emotional attachment via the reasons above, putting a cell phone away is almost like losing a part or piece of one's self. Think about the last time anyone has ever turned their cell phone completely off; hardly ever.
The must be a way to sever or loosen the bond of the psychological attachment of an individual and their cell phone while driving.
Possible Solutions to Distracted Driving:
- Turn off cell phone while driving
- Just Don't Use It
- At least 19 states have implemented some sort of cell phone or texting ban to ensure driver safety. More states are in the process of adopting and enforcing such legislation.
- Truck and bus drivers who text while driving commercial vehicles may be
subject to civil or criminal penalties of up to $2,750 according to the NHTSA.
See States Cell Phone Use and Texting While Driving Laws to learn about cell phone laws or texting bans specific to your state if any
3. Accident/Death (God forbid)
4. Innovative Technology
- Voice Technology
- Cell Phone Monitoring
- Texting Block
- Driver Applications
- Bluetooth Headset
Innovative Solutions to Texting While Driving
On November 20, 2009, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) hosted a staff workshop on distracted driving that explored technology innovations and applications that may eliminate or significantly reduce the problem of distracted driving as well as ways to educate the public about such dangerous behavior.
Click here to view webcast
Several companies have developed new easy-to-use technology that will assist in significantly reducing driver distraction.
Here's a listing of companies that provide technological solutions to texting while driving:
(Some were featured at the workshop)
Companies and organizations have taken the initiative to provide safe practical solutions to problems facing numerous drivers, parents, pedestrians, and cyclists across the world. Hopefully the thought of a loved one or friend will compel individuals to use wisdom while driving whether it be through simple voice technology or discipline. The technology provided is easy to use and cost effective. If individuals have a hard time not using their cell phone, then it may be best to use technology than pay a fine or worse lose a life. Cell phones and driving have affected our society in a good ways as well as bad. However, in the end it is the responsibility of the user to do what is necessary to ensure the safety of themselves, passengers, and other drivers.
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