Texting while driving is becoming a serious problem in this country, affecting not only the drivers who text, but those around them as well.
Russell and Kim Hurd lost their daughter, Heather, in a text-messaging accident last year. Heather was not using her cell phone, but the driver of a tractor-trailer several cars behind her was sending a text message. She and another driver were killed instantly in the crash caused by the texter.
These types of accidents change the lives of individuals forever. If the driver had not been so careless, then the Hurds would not have lost a daughter.
Thirteen states have passed legislation banning text messaging while driving and
17 others have pending bills waiting to be signed. Florida does not have a law banning texting behind the wheel yet.
According to The Denver Daily News, Colorado Governor Bill Ritter has already signed a bill that will prohibit anyone under the age of 18 from text messaging while driving. Another part of this bill prohibits individuals under the age of 18 from using cell phones at all behind the wheel. This legislation is a model bill that all states should pass.
According to a nationwide insurance study, one in seven adults admit to texting while driving. Among young drivers aged 18 to 24, the statistic is one in two. These alarming numbers are what caused 13 states to pass laws banning text messaging while driving.
Anyone who has ever taken a course in driver’s education can tell you that paying attention is probably the single most important preventative measure a person can take to ensure that an accident does not occur.
Sending text messages while on the road is a danger to the driver and everyone in his or her vicinity, no matter the vehicle. Twenty-five people were killed in a train accident when the driver was text messaging just seconds before the collision, according to CBS News.
In another incident, a bus driver was sending text messages when he crashed into an SUV that was right in front of him.
These incidents are easily preventable and should never occur. When people text, their attention is taken off the road and redirected to the cell phone.
There should be a federal ban against the use of text messaging while driving. The ban would ensure that all drivers in the nation have to follow this rule and would prevent more tragic accidents. Since not all states have pending laws against driving while texting, advocates say the federal ban is the best route to take.
If people have important text messages to send, they need to pull over and stop the car before sending their message. Ultimately, life is more important then texting a friend to tell them about your date last night.
Xhenis Berberi is a freshman majoring in political science and economics.