ENGL135 Week 8 Final Paper.docx
ENGL135 Week 8 Final Paper.docx PRG211
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Date Created: 11/13/15
Running Head Texting and Driving Final Draft Texting and Driving English 135 Professor Wright DeVry University Texting and Driving Texting and Driving Final Draft 2 In 2012 Texas college student Chance Bothe was texting that he needed to stop texting because he said that he could die in a car accident Zafar 2012 He was driving at the same time causing him to drive into a cliff He miraculously survived but not without serious injuries traumatic brain injuries a fractured skull a crushed face and a broken neck Zafar 2012 In 2013 19year old Elizabeth Haley Meyers was on her way to Royal Farms in Maryland when she hit 30year old Wesley Roberts who was driving his motorcycle She was texting while driving Roberts died leaving behind his children a brother and a father while Meyers faced the possibility of being sentenced up to ten years in prison and having to pay thousands of dollars in fines Valcourt 2013 Indeed texting and driving is a growing problem in our country According to Pascual Ferra Liu and Beatty 2012 25 percent of vehicular accidents that is 16 million accidents every year can be attributed to cellphone use and texting while driving The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration also stated that teens are six times more likely to crash while dialing a cellphone and 23 times more likely to crash while texting Mays 2014 The reaction time of a person who is texting while driving becomes similar to that of a 70year old who is driving without a cellphone Mays 2014 PascualFerra Liu and Beatty 2012 also found that the effects of texting and driving are comparable to the effects of alcohol use and marijuana use on driving In this regard software developers are developing smartphone apps and devices that would prevent users from using their cellphone while driving LaVallee 2009 They claim that it would be impossible to keep people from using their cellphones while driving as it has become a major part of their daily lives Therefore the apps and devices that prevent users from texting and driving would be the best way to control the people s cellphone usage while driving Farrell 2013 However there are also those who claim that these apps will only serve as an additional Texting and Driving Final Draft 3 distraction to the driver Farrell 2013 There are also those who claim that stricter laws would be more effective in preventing people from texting and driving Morelli 2014 The purpose of this proposal is to identify the measures that would be most effective at preventing people from texting and driving Although I m a novice scholar I will use scholarly and reputable sources that will support the points I want to make and that will establish my credibility I will use extant research eg PascualFerra Liu amp Beatty 2012 LaVallee 2009 and credible news sources e g Farrell 2013 Morrelli 2014 to provide evidence of the causes and effects of texting and driving and to illustrate the effectiveness of the measures we currently have for preventing texting and driving incidents It is important to establish effective measures for preventing people from texting and driving because it has caused the loss and destruction of so many lives especially among the youth With everyone using a smartphone merely telling them to not text and drive will not be very effective This has led to other measures being developed for preventing such In this regard this paper posits that although the use of apps and devices that prevent texting and driving are helpful for curbing the habit stricter laws that ban texting and driving would still be more effective because these will encourage people to take texting and driving seriously or else be charged with a primary offense and penalized Texting started to become popular in the US in the early 2000s as the various telecommunications companies provided better packages for their subscribers and enabled intemetwork text messaging A brief history of text messaging 2014 However as people started to use texting for most of their communications the problem with texting and driving also started to arise According to the US Department of Transportation 2009 driver error is the main contributing factor to vehicular accidents More specifically human error is the cause for 93 Texting and Driving Final Draft 4 of lightvehicle crashes and 78 of these were particularly caused by driver distraction US Department of Transportation 2009 It was also found that activities such as texting dialing a cellphone or interacting with a dispatching device as well as the act of reaching for a cellphone increased the risk of getting into a car crash US Department of Transportation 2009 Texting while driving was also shown to have the longest duration of eyes off the road US Department of Transportation 2009 It should be noted however that findings showed that listening or talking on a handheld or handsfree phone did not increase the risk involved in a safetycritical event US Department of Transportation 2009 Teens are especially at risk because of their perception that texting and driving is less dangerous than drinking and driving Copeland 2010 In a study conducted by Hosking Young and Regan 2006 about the effects of text messaging on the performance of young novice drivers the findings showed that when text messaging the drivers ability to maintain their lateral position on the road and to detect and respond appropriately to traffic signs was significantly reduced Hosking Young amp Regan 2006 p iii It was also found that the drivers had their eyes off the road 400 percent more times when texting while driving Hosking Young amp Regan 2006 Furthermore it was found that although some drivers tried to compensate for the distraction by increasing their following distance when following a lead vehicle they did not reduce their speed while they were texting Hosking Young amp Regan 2006 Despite the dangerous effects that texting and driving have not all states have implemented laws that ban texting and driving Studies also show that although 89 percent of Americans want texting while driving to be outlawed 68 of those surveyed also admitted that they texted while driving Wilson nd This implies that laws against texting and driving might be useless In the same regard a research conducted by the Highway Loss Data Institute Texting and Driving Final Draft 5 McNamara 2010 indicated that bans against texting and driving may even be increasing rather than decreasing texting and driving incidents However highway safety officials refuted this McNamara 2010 On the other hand a study by Abouk and Adams 2013 showed that the effects of these laws were shortterm that is they can successfully reduce vehicular accidents for a while but then people would later revert back to their old habits In response companies have turned to technology for the prevention of texting and driving incidents Grobart 2009 For example CellSafety as shown in Fig 1 is an app that blocks social media apps chat Web email and text and that allows only actual phone calls while the user is driving Pogue 2010 ra rm limited by mutter H EII liiHZiEE IIII39FWU39EE E E Eh il39i Eli iLlfFEi39lliif F825 u39iiEIiEEl ii it if 54 ljlj39liEi Euill lE liEl iiliEE Frag1 El ilf i5ljl39tl hum Inks H551 nail H warmerth if gtu n parasPrigEirn rhque permla gn Figure 1 CellSafety an app that prevents cellphone use while driving Pogue 2010 On the other hand apps such as Ford and Microsoft provide systems that allow voice commands to dial phones Grobart 2009 However these apps and systems have aws one of which is Texting and Driving Final Draft 6 that they can t run on the iPhone which happens to be one of the most popular phones in use today LaVallee 2009 The user can also choose to turn off the app rendering it useless In this regard these apps may not be the best solution for preventing texting and driving either Considering that neither the implementation of laws nor the use of apps that prevent in car use of the cellphone is effective on its own to prevent people from texting and driving the proposed solution would be that the technology to prevent texting and driving be continued to develop but more importantly stricter laws should be implemented for regulating texting and driving In particular one of the aws of the apps and devices that prevent texting and driving is that they cannot run on the iPhone The user can also turn them off In addition they can serve as distractions especially if they have gamelike features However if these aws can be addressed and if more advanced features can be added to ensure that drivers don t text and drive then these apps and devices can more effectively help in preventing people from texting and driving On the other hand the main reason that laws against texting and driving are not effective is that texting and driving is usually considered a secondary offense Morelli 2014 This means that the driver must be committing another violation aside from texting and driving in order to be reprimanded by law enforcement officers This prevents law enforcement officers from arresting people for texting and driving Therefore stricter laws should be implemented where texting and driving is considered a primary offense This will allow law enforcement officers to make more arrests which may in turn make the people take the law more seriously for fear of being caught and getting fined This may be a more effective approach on the basis of how the Texting and Driving Final Draft 7 safety belt law was implemented As Florida Senator Sachs indicated Morelli 2014 the safety belt law went through a similar process as the texting and driving law during the time that it was being implemented Just like the texting and driving law the safety belt law was also highly criticized and also took a long time before it became effectively implemented However as can be seen today people have developed a habit of wearing a seat belt The same results are hoped to be achieved with the implementation of a ban against texting and driving Although people may keep from texting and driving just to comply with the law the day may come when they will already do so out of habit In the same regard if software companies can continue to make improvements and advancements on the apps and devices that prevent users from using their cellphone while driving then a law should be implemented that would require all drivers who own a smartphone to have such apps installed in their phones This will ensure that everyone who drives and owns a cellphone will have an app that will keep them from texting and driving Aside from the law that specifically bans texting and driving a law that mandates the use of such apps will serve as an additional measure that will ensure that people don t text and drive This paper discussed how texting and driving is a growing problem in the country and how it especially affects the youth It has caused the destruction of many lives because of death and injuries and because it can lead to the driver s life being wasted in prison Indeed many studies have found that texting can cause driver distraction which can in turn seriously impair the driver s ability to drive Studies have also been conducted where the effects of texting and driving were indicated to be similar to or even worse than the effects of alcohol use and marijuana use on driving Texting and Driving Final Draft 8 To address this issue lawmakers have implemented laws that would ban texting and driving However not all states have implemented such laws yet and those that have consider them as a secondary offense which limits law enforcement officers from being able to call out and arrest more people for texting and driving Studies have also shown that although people favor the implementation of such laws they still engage in the said habit Studies also show that such laws are successful only in the beginning and that people tend 0 go back to their old habits after some time In response software companies have developed apps and devices that would prevent people from texting and driving However even these technologies have aws which include their inability to run on iPhones which happens to be one of the most popular phones being used by people They can also be turned off by the user rendering them useless and they may serve as further distraction for the user In this regard the solution proposed by this paper is that these technologies be continued to develop so that their issues are fixed or resolved More importantly however stricter laws should be imposed for banning texting and driving In particular texting and driving should be considered a primary offense In addition once the apps and devices that prevent texting and driving have been improved then their use should also be mandated With stricter laws to penalize texting and driving and with the apps that prevent people from using their cellphones while on the road the country may have improved chances of finally curbing people s habit of texting and driving Texting and Driving Final Draft References A brief history of text messaging 2014 Retrieved from httpmashablecom20120921text messaginghistory Abouk R amp Adams S 2013 April Texting bans on roadways Do they work Or do drivers just react to announcements of bans American Economic Journal Applied Economics 52 179 199 Retrieved from httpspantherfileuwmeduraboukwwwaboukadams2012apdf Copeland L 2010 September 20 Teens missing message on road texting risk USA Today Retrieved from httpusatoday30usatodaycomnewsnation20100920 texting20STNhtm Farrell M B 2013 December 9 Apps try to monitor tame texting drivers One new system offers rewards specialists wary of interactions Boston Globe Retrieved from httpwwwbostonglobecombusiness20131209couldsmartphoneusedkeepyou fromtextingwhiledrivingr9yWT1ZsHP6BYCAh86LsUJstoryhtml Grobart S 2009 November 21 Hightech devices help drivers put down phone The New York Times Retrieved from httpwwwnytimescom20091122technology 22distractedhtmlr2amp Hosking 8 Young K amp Regan M 2006 February The effects of text messaging on young novice driver performance Report No 246 Monash University Retrieved from httpwwwmonasheduaumiriresearchreportsmuarc246pdf Texting and Driving Final Draft 10 LaVallee A 2009 August 26 Tech journal Firms racing to end texting and driving as states pass new bans companies build services to disable incar cellphone messaging The Wall Street Journal Retrieved from httpsearchproquestcom Mays K 2014 January 4 New device aims to stop teens texting and driving Retrieved from httpwwwbostoncomcars20140104newdeviceaimsstopteenstextingand drivingteoerUIDVK74MFTkszpOstoryhtml McNamara P 2010 September 28 Texting while driving bans don39t work may actually hurt study finds Retrieved from httpwwwnetworkworldcomnews2010092810texting bansdontworkhtmlhp g 1 bn Morelli K 2014 January 12 Textingwhiledriving ban lacks teeth critics say The Tampa Tribune Retrieved from httptbocomnews oridatextingwhiledrivingbanlacks teethcriticssay201401 12 PascualFerra P Liu Y amp Beatty M J 2012 A metaanalytic comparison of the effects of text messaging to substanceinduced impairment on driving performance Communication Research Reports 293 227 238 doi101080088240962012696079 Pogue D 2010 April 28 Your phone is locked Just drive The New York Times Retrieved from httpwwwnytimescom20100429technology personaltech29poguehtmlpagewantedall US Department of Transportation 2009 September Driver distraction in commercial vehicle operations Retrieved from httpwwwdistractiongovresearchPDFFilesDriver DistractionCommercialVehicleOperationspdf Valcourt D 2013 October 8 Woman 20 accused of texting while driving faces up to 10 years for fatal crash Retrieved from httpbaltimorecbslocalcom20131008woman 20accusedoftextingwhiledrivingfacesupto10yearsforfatalcrash Wilson M nd 89 of Americans want texting while driving outlawed Retrieved from httpgizmodocom28673 189ofamericanswanttextingwhiledrivingoutlawed Zafar A 2012 August 6 Man texts about needing to stop texting then drives off a cliff Retrieved from httpnewsfeedtimecom20120805mantextsabout needingtostop textingthendrivesoffacliff Texting and Driving Final Draft 11
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