The contemporary youths are under increased pressure always to stay connected with all sorts of technology that are at their disposal (Library of Medicine, 2016). Therefore, it is not surprising how the use of cell phone while driving has been a growing challenge in the society. It is clear that use of cell phone while driving turns out to be a dangerous combination (Library of Medicine, 2016). Thus, the technology and social trend are leading to most unintentional death and road crashes because of motor vehicle collision. Most drivers view driving and phone use as unacceptable, but many still engage in it irrespective of the pending consequences (Library of Medicine, 2016). However, as much as there are other forms of driver distraction while driving, cell phone use is becoming the prevalent form of entertainment especially to the teenagers (Library of Medicine, 2016). The objective of this paper is, therefore, to analyze and evaluate how texting and driving have contributed to crashes especially on Delaware youth as well as the safer alternatives that should be put in place for safety (Library of Medicine, 2016).
Effects of Texting and Driving
Many people will have the same opinion that sending message and driving do not help the driver drive any appropriate (Psych Central, 2016). The problem comes when teenagers feel they are capable of multitasking but in the real sense, they are unable as they think. It is because drivers will take less time focusing on the road while texting in comparison to normal circumstances when they are just driving (Psych Central, 2016). The possible results of such will be missed lane changes and drivers variability in lane positions. Similarly, the response of a texting driver towards the flash of brake lights will be slowly and will lead to crashes (Psych Central, 2016). It happens mostly to the teens who tend to be inexperienced drivers who are most addicted to texting hence creating a lethal combination altogether (Psych Central, 2016).
Many youths will respond that they learned to drive safely while using their cell phones. In reality, concentrating on two things simultaneously is beyond individual cognition (Psych Central, 2016). Therefore, an effort to counter for the interruptions such as reduction of speed is always not enough to keep away from crashing (Psych Central, 2016). Even the drivers with the capability of relaying a message without staring at their gadgets are likely to suffer from inattention blindness (Psych Central, 2016). It takes place when a controller looking directly at a stimulus does not have the capability of perceiving it or responding to it. It means that cognition will be divided between the two activities hence making it difficult for the driver to react to changing situations on the traffic despite their eyes on the road (Psych Central, 2016).
The rate of crashes due to the use of cell phones while driving in Delaware has been growing steadily for the last six years (Delaware Statistics, 2016). Approximately 200 crashes were reported in 2010 because of the combination of driving and using the cell phone. Despite the decrease in some overall crashes in the following two years, most youth still perished in 2011 and 2012 respectively with reports indicating that 144 crashed in 2011 and 139 in 2012. Further reports Delaware Statistics (2016), the same years also experienced only one fatal crash each. However, things slowly changed from better to worse with the rapid increase in some crashes in the last three years to current. In 2013, Delaware statistics reported 147 crashes with three fatal crashes that rate the most in all the years. In the following year, 167 crashes and two fatal crashes were reported with the following two years registering 155 and 199 crashes respectively. The statistics show that the problem is deeply rooted in the society, as there are no indications that it might have lasting solutions depending on the available statistics (Ferdinand et al. 2014).
Besides, several arrests have been made over the last six years concerning violations of rules related to the use of cell phones while driving (Tammy Hyland, 2016). The law was implemented in 2011 and has seen many teenage drivers brought to book since 2011 to current. The number of arrests made has increased since the law was put in place with the year 2011 registering over 9000 arrests while 2016 reporting over 12,000 arrests. It indicates that the trend of texting and driving in Delaware has been on the rise despite the attempts by law enforcers to curb the problem (Ferdinand et al. 2014).
The Bluetooth Headset is an application that frees the hand of the user while communicating with another person at the other end (Bassett, 2013). Using Bluetooth while driving is just as if one is communicating to a person sitting in the passenger's seat. Similarly, the latest cars that are being manufactured offer Bluetooth technology (Bassett, 2013). The technology works the same as the headset, but the driver does not require a headset to use the Bluetooth technology. The approach is more convenient and safer than texting (Bassett, 2013). However, if the device is unaffordable for the individual, the best thing to do is to pull over to receive a text that is calling for your immediate attention. Alternatively, the driver can turn off the phone to avoid texting while driving to minimize the chances of getting crashes or fatal accidents (Bassett, 2013). The alternatives are likely to guide the teens to drive safely and miraculously change the statistics of Delaware concerning the crashes and fatal accidents related to teen driving and texting (Bassett, 2013).
Bassett, E. (2013). Six Alternatives to Texting While Driving. Retrieved from http://www.bassettlawoffices.com/blog/bid/97862/Six-Alternatives-To-Texting-While-Driving
Central, P. (2016). The Dangers of Texting While Driving | World of Psychology. Retrieved from http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2011/03/05/the-dangers-of-texting-while-driving
Delaware Statistics (2016). Cell Phone /Texting-Related Crashes.
Ferdinand, A. , Menachemi, N. , Sen, B. , Blackburn, J. , Morrisey, M. , et al. (2014). Impact of texting laws on motor vehicular fatalities in the united states. American Journal of Public Health, 104(8), 1370-1377.
Hyland, T. (2016). Delaware Statistics Information.
Library of Medicine, N. (2016). Fatal distraction. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3710028/
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