No Texting While Driving
“While the research to date is significant and should be adequate to convince public policy makers, lawmakers and regulators that action is needed, better crash data and other research should be pursued to clarify and quantify the magnitude of the driver distraction problem as well as the relative contributions of different sources of driver distraction,” said ASSE President C. Christopher Patton, CSP.
NSC (National Safety Council) President and CEO Janet Froetscher identified cell phone use while driving as one of America's most urgent traffic safety issues. In January, NSC became the first national organization to call for a total ban on that activity, based on a 2013 scientific estimate that handheld and hands-free cell phone use while driving contributed to about 20% of all crashes with an additional 6% or more linked specifically to text messaging. The same research put the annual financial toll of cell phone-related crashes at $43 billion.
"Our nation has reached a point where we estimate more than 100 million people are engaging in this dangerous behavior daily," Froetscher said, adding that the issue is not the type of phone a driver uses, rather it is the distraction caused by the conversation. "Hands-free devices do not make cell phones any safer. Several studies indicate that the principle risk is the cognitive distraction. Studies also show that driving while talking on a cell phone is extremely dangerous and puts drivers at a four-times greater crash risk."
Texting while on the road has become an almost habitual action among drivers. In a survey conducted by Geeksugar.com, they ask: Are you a chronic text messages while driving?
Total votes: 6,062 (information from 2007)
The alarming element of these survey results is that most drivers actually acknowledge that texting while driving should be avoided, yet texting is still a fairly common practice among drivers. In a recent AAA survey, 96% of survey respondents classified texting while driving as a “dangerous” or “very dangerous” act.
To curb the dangers of cellphone use while driving, United States Federal employees must follow a no texting and driving directive. On September 30th, 2009, President Obama signed an executive order banning Federal employees from texting while driving. A spokeswoman for the Transportation Department said the order took effect immediately and involved 4.5 million federal employees, including military personnel.
However, this measure may not be strong enough to tackle the problem. Banning texting “makes people feel good and makes it look like you’re doing something, but you’re not tackling the more difficult problem,” said David Strayer, a professor at the University of Utah who studies distracted driving. “It misses the larger point.”
To demonstrate the handicap that texting causes while driving, Car and Driver measured the time it takes to brake when sober, legally drunk with a blood alcohol content of 0.08, when reading an email, and when texting. The resulting times to brake were sobering:
Even further, the Transport Research Laboratory discovered that texting slows a driver’s reaction time by 35%, while drinking up to the legal limit slows reaction time by 12%.
Impaired reaction times while driving can mean the difference between life and death. According to the Department of Transportation, 3,477 fatalities and 391,00 injuries in motor vehicle accidents occurred in 2015 due to texting and driving alone. Bottomline, overall cell phone use should be absolutely avoided while driving to increase road safety.
For Further information on Distracted Driving and Texting while Driving, please click on the below links.
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