Texting and Driving YOU ARE NOT THE LUCKY ONE

Our topic is Texting and Driving. Texting and Driving is the act of composing, sending and reading text messages or emailing using mobile phones while operating a motor vehicle. This is extremely dangerous but people continue to do it. We chose to pursue this topic as it is a very serious issue among all of us and can cause serious harm to those we share the road with. We want to bring awareness to this issue as a reminder and a refresher to stop texting and driving. Leave the phone alone. No text message is worth endangering yourself or those you share the road with. It can wait.

In their early days, cell phones were even viewed as roadway safety devices because they gave drivers the ability to immediately call for help after being in, or witnessing, a motor vehicle accident, increasing the likelihood of receiving medical attention during the critical “golden hour.”

What is at Stake? Lives are at stake here. If someone decides to text and drive and cause an accident many things can change in the blink of an eye. Texting and driving is a careless behavior that could wreak devastating consequences. In an article posted to the CBC website dated Aug 8/15.The minimum fine has increased from $250 to $500 on PEI, while the maximum fine has tripled from $400 to $1,200. Plus the loss of 5 demerit points removed from your license.

People need to be more aware of the consequences related to texting and driving. We always think it can't happen to us.

Root Causes - Technology and an individual's lifestyle play an important role in texting and driving. Easy access to all information at our fingertips and a Lack of self control are huge factors in car accidents over the last few years. We live in a digital age where we need to respond immediately.

In a news release dated June 21, 2016 from the province of PEI, Transportation, Infrastructure and Energy, states that a person caught using a hand-held device while driving faces a $575 to $1275 fine and five demerit points. Newly licensed drivers face an automatic 30-day suspension for a first offense and a 90-day suspension for subsequent offenses. With penalties more severe if the offense resulting in injury or death.

Smartphones have made it very easy for us to stay connected at all times. This can pose as a very serious issue though when you mix cellphone usage with operating a motor vehicle. We tend to feel the pressure to answer the phone while driving or we are unable to ignore the constant “Ding” when we are in the car. This causes us to be curious and check messages while stopped at red lights, stop signs or even while driving.

Some people don’t realize that texting and driving is also an impairment similar to drinking and driving. We are not focused when we are texting while driving. We may think we are but when you are focused on reading messages or texting while driving, your reflexes are much slower and can cause a very serious accident.

Texting and driving completely changes lives. We know that this is wrong but we continue to check our phones while in the car. What people don’t know is that texting while driving causes a 400% increase in time spent with eyes off the road. In the US, one out of every four car accidents is caused by texting and driving.

Between 2001 and 2007, texting while driving caused more than 16,000 highway deaths. In 2012 alone, the National Safety Council estimated that texting while driving was responsible for between 281,000 and 786,000 motor vehicle crashes. (in the US)

Teen Driver Cell Phone Statistics: 11 teens die every day as a result of texting while driving. According to A AAA poll, 94% of teen drivers admit to the dangers of texting and driving. 35% of teen drivers continue to do it anyway. 21% of teen drivers involved in fatal accidents were distracted by their cell phones.

Scholars are quite supportive of leaving the phone alone while driving. That’s where it must start. We must implement teaching children that it is not appropriate to text and drive at a very young age. We need to lead by example and ensure we do not text and drive while in the vehicle with our children. Teach those who are not license holders to ensure that by the time they become drivers, they know better. There needs to be zero tolerance for texting while driving.

Solutions:

  • Education in the school system around texting and driving.
  • More steep fines from police
  • Connect your phone to Bluetooth
  • Devices in vehicles of those who are caught texting and driving. This device would know that the car was in motion and automatically disable texting features on phones.
  • Raise awareness of the issue
A study by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute found that text messaging while driving increased the risk of crash or near-crash events more than twenty-three times as compared to non-distracted driving.

These solutions would work in reducing texting and driving rates on a number of fronts. By continually increasing education around texting, paired with increasing fines when caught, it will cause people to think twice before following through with it again. Phone Bluetooth systems are a simple alternative to using your phone while on the road, however these can be more complicated to use when attempting more than a simple phone call. This is where the anti-texting car systems come into place. These systems will register that the car is moving and that the owner of the phone is driving, completely preventing the device from being used for more than emergency phone calls. These changes could potentially help every driver on the road by increasing safety for both drivers and pedestrians. More specifically it will help save the lives of teenagers and young adults on the island.

There are many challenges that we face trying to implement these strategies. First of all, even though there are hundreds of cases of accidents caused by texting and driving many people of all ages believe “I’m a good driver, that will never happen to me.” It is difficult to get people to break this habit and their belief in their driving and texting skills. Steeper fines has proven to be a successful strategy in the past for reducing accidents caused by texting but there is still the issue with catching perpetrators before they have the accident in the first place.

A promising option would be to treat texting while driving as a more serious offense, along the lines of drunk driving, increasing the severity and variety of possible punishments.

The single greatest hurdle however is the legal issue of taking away people’s rights to have their phone in the car with them. Without being able to prove that they were in fact using their mobile device in the vehicle a police officer cannot rightly charge an individual for committing the act. In order to combat texting and driving in the past some police jurisdictions have traced the time of a message sent or a call made to prove that the driver was if fact using their phone while driving. However even with this technique there is little to no proof that the car was not parked at the time of the message.

The gold standard for impaired driving, at least in the minds of many Americans, is drunk driving, but texting while driving has been found to be six times more dangerous than drunk driving.

While researching our topic we ran into the issue of acquiring Prince Edward Island specific information that we could confidently use in an academic setting. There are many peer reviewed articles online about the dangers of texting and driving as well as the laws that have been created to help prevent these situations. Unfortunately most of these articles are based in the United States or Canada as a whole, or more specifically a particular state in the US. Even articles that we did find about the island did not provide hard facts or numbers that we could use. We also had the issue of being unable to find some information that we were looking for. We had issues finding exact figures about the number of accidents that occur every year, RCMP information specific to texting and driving on the island, teen driver statistics, and the accident rate caused by texting and driving as opposed to distracted driving or just simply inexperienced drivers.

If we were to go back a do this project again we would decide upon our specific topic sooner to give ourselves more time to get sufficient research done. We would also allocate more time to get together as a group to work on the finished product and practice the presentation. To have more time to complete these things we believe that we would be able to find much more relevant information that would effectively strengthen our project as a whole.

Conclusion:

In this digital age, portable devices have already become a part of our life. Technology makes our life more efficient, convenient, but somehow dangerous. We as users of mobile devices need to be more conscious of usage while in our vehicles and resist the urge to answer messages while driving.

In the past decades, fast-developing technology has been a very controversial topic, the issues about privacy, the diseases caused by technology, and most importantly, people’s lifestyle. Marketers promote the smartphone as people can do anything on a small device anywhere, but the fact is we should not use it anywhere, at never the less when we are driving.

Scholars are also quite supportive of leaving the phone alone while on the road. That’s where it must start. We must teach children that it is not appropriate to text and drive from a very young age. The government and schools are educating the people almost every day not to text and drive. They also should take more actions such as increasing the fine and the punishments, but people still get injured and die in car accidents caused by texting and driving. That makes us think, what will the future be like?

Increasingly, cell phones are being designed to make them attractive to individuals on the go, with features like navigation, music streaming, and Internet connectivity. As a result, they appeal to drivers for both their convenience and functionality.

It would be difficult to answer, the growth of technology is significantly fast, that could bring some new things that change people’s lives. The root causes were not only by the technology, but also people’s conscious. Texting and driving is the problem, we shouldn’t blame the smartphone, but the people themselves.

To decrease the occurrence texting and driving, the only way to be optimistic is through educating people through all kinds of platforms. Schools and government play an important role in creating awareness, establishing the new regulations, and new technologies to prevent texting and driving. There are some new technologies that could lock the smartphone while driving, or use Bluetooth to connect the smartphone to the car to read out the messages, but the ideal solution would be to increase the mindfulness. Everyone can understand how dangerous texting and driving is and telling their friends, family, stop them when you see they are texting and driving. It is like a marketing strategy that creates the idea and keeps reminding people about this idea, people who know better will tell others about this idea, the result will slowly make a positive influence.

Other tasks involving phones, such as reaching for, dialing, or talking on a cell phone, increased the risk by between one and 6.7 times in similar vehicles, well below the risk created by texting.

It is not only the government’s duty to protect us from our silly acts, but also everyone's job to do something to make our community a better place. We hope that whoever reads this will remember put down your smartphone next time when you are driving, or to stop someone close to you when you see them try to reach for their phone while in the car. Let them understand that no text message is worth endangering yourself or those you share the road with. It can wait.

Texting and driving has become a leading cause of fatalities among young drivers. We can easily prevent those terrible accidents. We hope that people can keep reminding themselves and their friends do not risk people’s lives for a single message on their phone.

Drivers see the use of phones while driving as dangerous when done by other drivers, but believe themselves capable of safely engaging in the exact same behavior. Also, many professionals feel a pressure to be constantly productive and available to their employers, causing them to turn to their phones even while on the road.

References:

Bushak, Lecia, and Lecia Bushak Lecia Bushak Is a Writer and Reporter Focusing on Medical, Science, and International News. Read More. "Werner Herzog's Texting And Driving Documentary Scares Drivers." Medical Daily. N.p., 10 Aug. 2013. Web. 04 Apr. 2017.

Gormly, Emma. "Indiana's Texting-While-Driving Ban: Why Is It Not Working and How Could It Be Better?" Indianna Law Journal 91 (2016): 87-104. Web. 4 Apr. 2017.

Lee, Victoria K., Chantelle R. Champagne, and Louis Hugo Francescutti. "Fatal distraction." Canadian Family Physician. The College of Family Physicians of Canada, 01 July 2013. Web. 04 Apr. 2017.

Qiao, N., and TM Bell. "State all-driver distracted driving laws and high school students' texting while driving behavior." Traffic Jury Prevention 17 (2016): 5-8. Web. 4 Apr. 2017.

Rivas, Anthony, and Anthony Rivas Anthony Is a Weekend Editor and Reporter for Medical Daily. Outside of Medical Daily, You'll Find Him Weaving through Manhattan's Crowds with His Skateboard. Read More. "Texting And Driving Affects All Teen Driver's Abilities, But Those With ADHD Even More." Medical Daily. N.p., 13 Aug. 2013. Web. 04 Apr. 2017.

Credits:

Created with images by reynaldodallin - "driving cellular by typing" • VladArtist - "car accident broken glass splatter" • ollesvensson - "crash" • nitram242 - "The School Play" • jodylehigh - "crash accident collision" • aldenjewell - "The Parking Lot" • TeroVesalainen - "smartphone white silver" • ZapTheDingbat - "Crash" • fignetto - "crash car car crash"

Report Abuse

If you feel that this video content violates the Adobe Terms of Use, you may report this content by filling out this quick form.

To report a Copyright Violation, please follow Section 17 in the Terms of Use.