I know this blog was intended for Transportation Engineering topics however, I felt like driving while texting is also relevant in the transportation world. A few days ago, yesterday to be exact, my instructor for Transportation was talking to the class about a case, in California, on using the GPS features on your phone. A court ruled that individuals who were caught with a cell phone in their hands while driving would be cited under no circumstances. A big problem which we are facing nowadays is the dangers of texting while driving. It may seem harmless at first, but if the statistics are taken into consideration, texting and driving is not only dangerous, but at times, deadly. With 77% of young adults feeling confident texting while driving and another 48% claiming to have seen their parents texting and driving, one can easily see how misinformed society is, in general, with the dangers of texting while driving.
Now, I will not deny that I have not been guilty of texting while driving however I do try to minimize my occurrences. I noticed that whenever I do text and drive I am usually at the very edge of my lane almost crossing onto the other lane. I also feared getting a citation since they’re up in the three digits. Aside from that, it is impressionable to know that in 2011, 1.3 million crashes were due to texting and driving. That is a high number for something that people feel “confident” doing. It may seem like only half a second is used to check on a text but in reality, it is around 5 seconds. Enough time to get in an accident. Driving is dangerous by itself; there is no need to add distractions.
Now what can be done to reduce this number. The state of California is doing all it cans to discourage the public from using a phone while driving. Citations are very pricey and there are cracking hard on the culprits and yet there are many who still do it. There is no way you can force someone to do something they are not willing to do but there are ways they might be convinced. Maybe the cell phone providers can enclose Bluetooth’s in the cell phones along with the charger or the vehicle manufacturers can include Bluetooth in all the cars, not just the luxurious ones. This might make the public more inclined to use a hand-free device but ultimately, it is up to each and every individual to act responsibly and stop taking huge risks; they are not worth it. After all, WE ARE ALL SHARING THE SAME ROAD!