The Danger of Texting and Driving
The main purpose of this paper is to find out what impact does one of mankind new achievements have on our life. People want to be able to communicate with anybody wherever they are, and that is understandable. But you can not have one’s cake and eat it. In this particular case I mean texting while driving. “Texting, also known as SMS (for short message service), is on the rise, up from 9.8 billion messages a month in December ’05 to 110.4 billion in December ’08.” Undoubtedly, more than a few of those messages, are being sent by people driving cars” (caranddriver.com). What real danger does it pose, and what maximum optimal modality should be chosen to solve this problem.
The life rhythm is getting faster and faster and we try to conform to it. Trying to save our time, we can shorten someone’s and/or ourselves lives. Let us think, how condoned such a rush is and what is the price of a man’s life. Most people are too self-assured and even can loose the instinct of self-preservation. It is doubtful, that nobody can read an interesting book and watch a very exciting movie simultaneously, not skipping something here or there. So, how can we drive and text, making a danger to the public.
Investigations of drivers’ reactions while texting behind the wheel, were eye-opening. The drivers tested were of different age (young and middle-aged) and tested with different speed (35 MPH and 70 MPH). Moreover, for comparison with the obtained results, the drivers were a little bit intoxicated with alcohol, but under the legal driving limit, and without any texting. The results were either the same or even better and far from consolatory. The whole results you can see on the tables (see tables 1,2) below:
Source: Michael, Austin “Texting While Driving: How Dangerous is it?” http://www.caranddriver.com Hearst Communications, Inc., n.d. June, 2009.
Taking into account that the test was performed at the airport without any traffic and people, we can not even imagine what aftermath could be on a busy crossing
“Texting is estimated to have been responsible for 16,000 traffic fatalities between 2001 and 2007. It does mean, however, that it’s harder to get people stop doing it - even when they know it’s dangerous.”
The most important question is to determine an optimal way to enforce people to be more responsible behind the wheel. Traditionally we use the law, but the practice shows that “these laws, however, are difficult to enforce and may not immediately result in behavior change.”
In numerous states texting is banned, but the statistics has not been improved. That is why we have to appeal to the public consciousness. First, the social advertisement should be provided: on TV, in printed and web sources, outdoor advertisement etc. People should see by their own eyes possible effects of their frivolity. This could make a psychological impact on the majority of potential drivers.
Everybody should realize their social responsibility from the school days. Anyhow, we should not set aside the law, its role in our life. It should be strict enough to make a potential scofflaw to consider for a moment, what would happen if he decides to “play” with his cell phone.
If we take all the abovesaid, we can conclude that the problem of texting while driving is rather actual nowadays and demands a prompt solution. On the one hand we have careless drivers, on the other hand - ignoring of the correspondent laws. The maximum optimal modality is the direct appeal to the public by the means of social advertisement. This is the most functional psychological leverage. Finally, we have to accept that we can nothing to do but hope for the civic consciousness.