I think most people can say that they have texted while they were driving at least once in their life. Laws have been made in an attempt to stop people from texting while driving, but some people still do it. Texting while driving not only puts us at risk, but it puts our cars and other people at risk, too.
While there is no national ban on texting or using a handheld device while driving, many states have been working to put an end to it by passing laws that prohibit texting or using wireless devices while driving. Only 39 have made laws to do this. Some states require the use of hands-free devices to use the phone in the car (Federal Communications Commission). The use of mobile devices has become more popular over the past decade because we are advancing in technology. With these new advancements in phone technology, we are all using them more often. Everyone loves texting so much and some of the apps are so addictive that it makes drivers want to use the phone while driving. This takes our eyes off the road. Just one little distraction can have major consequences. Since we have to look at our phones to do most things on them, we have to take our eyes off the road. This puts us at risk because we cannot see where we are going.
Over the past few years, data has been collected and statistics have been made. According to Do Something, texting can make a crash 23 more times likely to happen. 40 percent of teens have admitted to being in a car with a driver who was texting. 9 out of 10 teens expect a reply to their texts within only 5 minutes and they feel the need to respond to texts as soon as they get a reply, even if they are driving. 1 in 5 drivers of all ages have admitted to surfing the web or using a handheld device while driving. Textinganddrivingsafety.com also has some facts and statistics from the past few years. According to this article, in 2011, 23% of car accidents involved cell phones. 82% of Americans between the ages of sixteen and seventeen have cell phones, but only 34% admitted to texting while driving and 52% admitted to talking on a cell phone while driving. In many of these car accidents, people are harmed. It may not just be the driver, but an innocent bystander or a passenger could get hurt too.
Texting and driving can have major consequences. Teen Vogue did an article about the dangers of texting and driving and included stories of young drivers that got in accidents because they were not paying attention to the road. 5 years ago a 20-year-old named Amanda was on her phone while she was driving. She was distracted and hit a tractor trailer that was in front of her. After the accident she said, “But I know I’m lucky to be alive.” She ended up going through many surgeries and she even lost her right eye. She said that she shouldn’t have lived and she was shaken by that accident.
The fine for texting and driving is different in all states. In all of the states that have made laws, the guilty person only has to pay a fine. The amount of the fine ranges from as little as 20 dollars in California to as much as 10,000 dollars in Alaska. Most of the eastern states have fines in the hundreds, except Maine which is 500 dollars. The central states, except Indiana and Wisconsin have fines fewer than one hundred dollars. The western states vary. Some have very little fines, while others have big fines. Alaska has the largest fine and Utah comes in second with 750 dollars (Johnson).
Texting and driving is very dangerous and can harm you or innocent people. If someone gets caught they may have to pay a few hundred dollars, depending on what state they live in. Next time you get in a car, put down your phone or you could have major consequences.
“11 Facts About Texting And Driving.” Do Something. Do Something, n.d. Web. 03 Apr. 2014.
“Guide Print Email.” The Dangers of Texting While Driving. Federal Communications Commission, n.d. Web. 03 Apr. 2014.
Johnson, Dave. “The Penalty for Texting and Driving in Your State.” CBSNews. CBS Interactive, 6 Nov. 2013. Web. 08 Apr. 2014.
Shin Park, Jane. “The Real Risks of Texting and Driving.” Teenvogue Content. Teen Vogue, n.d. Web. 03 Apr. 2014.
“Texting and Driving Statistics.” Texting and Driving Statistics. Www.textinganddrivingsafety.com, 2014. Web. 03 Apr. 2014