How Supporting Simple Texting While Driving Laws Can Save Lives of Cell Phone Users Everywhere!
It’s pretty difficult to argue with the statistics that prove that texting while driving is a very dangerous use of our cellular phones. Surprisingly, despite the undeniable evidence that the use of cell phones while driving can be distracting enough to cause serious accidents, it took many years for laws to begin to be passed that restricted their use by individuals while operating motor vehicles.
Despite the overwhelming numbers of accidents that have been proven to have been caused by people who were distracted because they were simply talking on their cell phone while they were driving, people are still extremely reluctant to change their habits.
Many people would rather risk the lives of their passengers as well as the other drivers on the roads than give up the luxury of remaining connected to the world at all times through their cell phones.
How Many States Regulate Cell Phone Use While Driving?
Believe it or not, according to www.ghsa.org (Governors Highway Safety Association), as of March 2011, only eight states have laws on the books restricting the use of hand held cellular devices while operating a motor vehicle! There are currently no states that have completely banned the use of cell phones for all drivers while operating a motor vehicle. There are only 30 states that forbid the practice of sending and receiving text messages while driving!
I can’t think of many more things that would be more distracting than trying to enter a text message into my phone while driving my car. The statistics have proven that the act of sending and receiving text messages is a significant cause in a high percentage of motor vehicle accidents. Accident statistics continue to rise as people become more and more dependent on their cellular phones.
Some People Really Do Care
Despite the fact that few states are taking a tough stance on this dangerous practice, there are plenty of people who are adamantly opposed to drivers being able to use cellular phones at all while operating a motor vehicle. Even though the number of people who are opposed to this is quite high, the number of people who are fighting to keep their rights to use their cellular phones while driving is even higher. I’m constantly amazed that people will aggressively choose to defend their right to this simple electronic “convenience” over doing something to prevent the loss of another individual’s life.
Many People Are Addicted To Cell Phones
Let’s face it, people have become addicted to their mobile phones. Many people rely on their wireless phones so much that they can’t stand to be separated from them for even a minute. As texting has become more and more popular, the number of accidents caused by negligent drivers who are using their cellular phones while driving is on the rise. More and more people are upgrading to touchscreen smartphones since they make the act of keying in a text message both faster and easier. Because it is becoming much easier to communicate this way, more and more people are beginning to do so. Even those individuals who were very slow to transition into the world of sending and receiving text messages are rapidly becoming quite reliant on this method of communication.
How Can We Put A Stop To This?
One of the major questions that troubles many safety officials around the world is; what can we do to stop this dangerous driving practice? Of course the obvious solution is to put laws on the books that restrict this behavior and place stiff penalties on those who are caught breaking these laws. While this may seem like the simplest solution to many, there are still 20 states in the U.S. alone that have been reluctant to create laws banning this behavior.
If the lawmakers aren’t going to step up and do something about this dangerous practice, it’s about time that concerned citizens rallied to let their opinions be known. I am one of those concerned citizens and today I am formally proposing that people write their legislators and suggest that cellular phones be equipped with text message disabling software and devices for people who are behind the wheel of a vehicle.
This would be a very inexpensive and easy solution to the problem. Ignition interlock devices are in use to prevent those who have been convicted of driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs to prevent a vehicle from being started. Similar technology could be easily used to disable the ability of a mobile phone to send and receive text messages for phones that are positioned a certain distance from the steering wheel of a vehicle.
This can be done with a technology called “telematics” or even with the use of Bluetooth devices. The technology is not only available but it would be quite simple to install. A simple transmitter would be installed on the steering column of all vehicles. These text message disabling devices could be supplied with the sale of all mobile phones. They could easily be installed by the user and would effectively prevent the texting feature of cellular phones for any phone that is within the driver’s reach.
There are already numerous apps that can be installed on modern smartphones that disable various features of the phone when the GPS receiver in the device determines that the phone is traveling over 10 or 15 miles per hour. Some of these apps are Zoomsafer, iZUP, and tXtBlocker. The use of these apps is currently voluntary and I’m afraid that despite the fact that they could save lives, not many people are actually using them.
I really believe that it’s going to take an act of congress to make the use of this kind of technology mandatory. Let’s hope that this happens sooner rather than later!
Enacting Law’s Like This Would Save Lives
The number of lives that could be saved by implementing these text message disabling devices would be well worth the inconvenience that some people would suffer by not being able to send and receive text messages while driving their vehicles. I’m very aware that many people would adamantly oppose this solution and most of them would be the same individuals who are consistently engaging in these types of dangerous driving practices by either using hand held cellular phones for making phone calls or sending and receiving text messages while they are driving.
Even though I’m skeptical that this possible solution will receive enough attention that it needs to go anywhere, I believe it is the best solution to prevent the unnecessary injuries and loss of life that are being caused on a day to day basis by these simple wireless “conveniences” that we have come to rely on so much. I for one will be sending a letter to my state legislators asking them to consider this proposal and I urge you to do the same if you are at all concerned about the staggering number of deaths and injuries caused by this dangerous practice.
Please do your part to spread the word about this idea and share this article with your friends and family members about it! I would really appreciate it and so would they!