Proposed Texas Ban on Texting While Driving.
More than likely, you’ve read about the debate over a Proposed Texas Ban on Texting While Driving. It’s quite obviously a controversial issue, but it’s only one part of a newly recognized whole: distracted driving. It’s the umbrella term for a long list of things we shouldn’t be doing while driving. And there are campaigns galore trying to educate the public about the amount of time it takes to cause or become part of an accident. One such campaign was started by Jennifer Smith, whose mother was killed by a man who was talking on his mobile phone while driving. It’s called FocusDriven.org, and Smith uses this site to educate the public about, connect victims of, and advocate against distracted driving. Modeled after MADD, this site garners support for a Proposed Texas Ban on Texting While Driving, a cause whose impact has grown as media has covered its devastating effects. It’s the new drunk driving.
As vehicles have evolved, safety issues have arisen and been resolved, decreasing deaths due to improvements in safety belts, anti-lock brakes, air bags, and speeding enforcement. But it almost seems as though a correlation exists between cars becoming easier to drive and people finding it easier to multitask when behind the wheel. With the addition of so many portable devices, and the immediacy of having communication and task completion so readily available, it’s difficult to slow oneself down and focus on any one job at a time. But when it comes to driving, sites like FocusDriven as well as Distraction.gov want you to remember what’s important. And what MADD did with drunk driving, some educational campaigns are doing the same for distracted driving: appealing to one’s emotions with shocking and often gruesome pictures of the aftermath of accidents.
How could a Proposed Texas Ban on Texting While Driving affect you?
Before the Proposed Texas Ban on Texting While Driving, it used to be that drinking and driving was only a nuisance, an embarrassment that was taken care of on a more discreet level. It was common for police officers to turn a blind eye or give an intoxicated driver a ride home. But the media began to report on not only more and more accidents related to drunk driving but also the consequences that its victims and their families and friends had to experience as well. This appealed more than statistics did to the public, thus drunk driving became more socially unacceptable and far less tolerated by law enforcement. Now, you get arrested and if found guilty, sent to prison and/or faced with huge fines and a tarnished record. This is beginning to happen with distracted driving.
What you need to know about the Proposed Texas Ban on Texting While Driving.
Before the Proposed Texas Ban on Texting While Driving, legislation had been passed in thirty other states banning texting while driving. New York did it first in the U.S. in 2001. Even before then, Japan was already on the ball with a ban on hand-held mobile device use while driving. Research is being completed, and stats are being published and broadcast to the masses. For example, Distraction.gov tells us that there are three recognized types of distraction: visual (eyes are off the road), manual (hands are off the road), and cognitive (mind is not on the task at hand). When you think about it, many of our distractions involve combining all three of these types, creating a ridiculously dangerous situation. Distractions other than texting or using a cell phone include eating and drinking, talking or tending to passengers, grooming, reading (maps or other media), using a GPS, watching a video, adjusting the radio, or even reaching for something.
Our natural reaction time is .7 seconds. But when you take into account that there is a 37% decrease in parietal lobe activity just from listening to someone speak on the phone, your reaction time decreases substantially. Let’s say that you’ve got several things going at once. If your eyes are off the road for 3-5 seconds to read a map or text message, or change the radio station, or turn to check on your kids in the back, that’s at least a football field’s length, depending on how fast you’re driving. Imagine how much can happen!
But most people resent this type of admonishment when messages have been drilled into them by the media. That’s why enforcement and the Proposed Texas Ban on Texting While Driving, however difficult, is on the rise. Because we tend to desensitize to warnings when they become overused, cliché, or trite, we sometimes have to learn the hard way. For younger drivers, distracted driving needs to become “totally uncool, socially unacceptable” says Smith. If societal norms are shifted to discourage and stigmatize distracted driving, perhaps people will change. This may not be the only solution, but it seemed to be what made the biggest overall difference when it came to drunk driving. If distracted driving is the new drunk driving, maybe that approach will work here, hence the Proposed Texas Ban on Texting While Driving.