August 12, 2013
Texting and Driving: It Can Wait
Leslee’s life changed forever on March 4th. Leslee Henson and her husband David were involved in a terrible pedestrian-motor accident. They were not driving a car; they were simply going for a walk on a Monday morning in their neighborhood when tragedy struck. The motorist that was guilty of texting, rear ended another vehicle that struck the pedestrians. David shielded his wife, Leslee and took the death for her. In other words, he pushed her out of the way and he died while she survived and has to endure more than 5,000 stitches and staples on her head and neck. Bones in Leslee’s neck and back were broken. She had ...view middle of the document...
Our country needs stricter and more specific laws to ban texting and driving and firmer penalties for this senseless act across the nation. In addition, there are not enough advertisements and warning messages about the dangers of texting and driving. During this research, I plan to bring about awareness on the need for more public service campaigns and the consequences of driving while distracted.
The reason that I’m writing on this topic is because of the astounding outcomes that texting while driving have caused. There are countless studies that prove what we already know to be true, operating a motor vehicle while using a cellular communication device is a highly dangerous combination. According to The Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, “text messaging creates a crash risk 23 times worse than driving while not distracted.” 2 Everything stems back to being distracted while driving and there are other forms of distraction but text messaging, surfing the web, updating social media, and even online banking are the most dangerous and the least important. The need for stricter laws and stiffer punishments is necessary because even with the current regulations, people are still texting and ignoring the life-threatening consequences.
Everyday more and more states are catching on to the necessity of stiffer penalties for texting while driving. On August 1, 2013, new fines were put into effect in Queens, NY for individuals that were caught committing this form of distracted driving. According to the Queens Chronicle, Linwood residents give their opinion on the new penalties: “They really don’t care,” she said. “They should have stiffer penalties.”Greenberg said she feels the $150 fine in the law for the first offense is not a sufficient deterrent. She agrees with Cordova that it should be raised to $500. “If they fine them $500, maybe it would sink in,” she suggested. 3 Since the state of New York started experiencing an increase in distracted driving, the government officials decided to take action on this matter. Parker Waichman, from a national law firm dedicated to protecting the legal rights of car accident victims, comments on the matter, “Considering the huge leap in popularity of texting and using cell phones while driving, it is high time that New York, as well as other states, looked at their laws with an eye to revising them to offset the potential impact of distracted driving.”3 It is believed that more states will begin to follow in the steps of New York and enforce and create new laws against this issue.
Texting and driving is not a New York-only problem but it has caused nationwide devastation. Distraction.gov, a website operated by the U.S. Department of Transportation and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA),4 offers nationwide statistics on the dangers of distracted driving. Among the facts and statistics noted on the website:
* In 2011, 3,331 people were killed in crashes involving a...