Without some type of legislation forbidding this distraction, the problem will only continue to get worse, and people will continue to die. In several recent studies the findings show that text-messaging is one of the most dangerous distractions for the driver. Despite the large number of people that use cell phones or text while they drive, a recent Harris poll shows that 80% of the participants recognize there is a need to create a law forbidding this type of activity while driving (Wheel, 2007).
Through this public support and the recognition of the ungenerous consequences of testing while driving the hope is legislators will recognize the need to prevent this dangerous distraction. More states need legislation that makes testing while driving illegal. Most states have established legislation making it illegal to talk on a cell phone while driving, but only a few states, such as Indiana, have enacted legislation that forbids testing while driving.
In Indiana, if a driver is caught sending, receiving, or reading a text while operating a motor vehicle they will be subject to a 5500 dollar fine. Teenagers are forbidden any type of cell phone usage while in a car and are subject to license suspicion of privileges and up to a $500 dollar fine (Able, 2011 In order to lower the number of drivers on the roads being distracted by testing, other states will need to follow the example of the state of Indiana. Testing while driving drastically reduces a drivers response time.
When a driver is paying attention to the road they are able to apply enough pressure to braking the car or make the necessary maneuvers to avoid unnecessary accidents but when they are testing the driver requires four additional seconds to respond properly to the potential crash incident. While testing to driving is generational and something that is more common for younger drivers studies have shown that 25% of drivers that text are over the age of 30 (Abele 201 1).
Despite the fact that the older driver understands the risks of using a cell phone or testing while they are driving this has not stopped them from participating in this dangerous behavior. Testing while driving takes the driver’s attention Off the road and can be dangerous for drivers of any age. It causes the driver to look away from the dad, takes their minds off driving the car, and watching for potential dangers. In a study by released the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute the findings show that drivers who text are twenty three times more at risk for crashing or almost crashing than the driver that is not distracted (Snyder, 2012).
This clearly shows how dangerous testing while driving is. Teenage drivers already have many distractions such as listening to the radio and having friends in the car. The additional distraction of the cell phone can result in deadly consequences for the young driver as well as any other driver n the road. Through the distraction of testing the driver not only put themselves at risk but puts other drivers on the road at risk. When the driver is text messaging they fail to recognize the warning signs of the potential dangers on the road.
Because the driver is distracted by the activity of testing they do not have the same response time as the undistributed driver in the event of a crash or near crash. Testing also causes erratic driving that can put other drivers and even pedestrians at risk and results in what could have been an avoidable event. Testing while driving causes widespread accidents, deaths and injuries. Distracted drivers cause over 6,000 deaths each year. Of the six thousand deaths, 30% are associated with testing while driving incidents.
In the almost half a million accidents reported in the United States each year, 24,000 were due to testing while driving, while an additional 100,000 were distracted by the use of a cell phone (Snyder, 2012). With all of these additional deaths, it is essential for public interest groups and politicians to take a special interest in ensuring these incidents are deterred through legislation. New technology has forever changed every aspect of society, but with new technology comes new challenges.
When people are dying because other people do not have the common sense to put down their cell phones and pay attention to the road, it is time for the government to step in and legislate this behavior. When there are laws in place, a good percent of society will follow these laws and be deterred by the potential consequences of being caught testing while driving. If new laws are not put into place, the number of people being killed by the distracted driver will continue to increase.