You’re on your way to dinner and your family is waiting for you. You look down to send a quick text letting them know you’re on your way, but you don’t know that this will be the last time you will ever send a text. In the split second while you are looking down at your phone and your eyes veer away from the road, the stoplight turns red and you crash into the vehicle that had the right of way. There are way too many dangers and lifelong problems that have been associated with cell phone use and driving. This includes accidents, deaths, hefty fines, and increased insurance premiums.
Distracted driving of any type is an ongoing phenomenon –especially in today’s advanced society. With the power that cell phones have to do almost anything for us, they are the cause of most distraction. The National Safety Council, or NSC, classifies using a cell phone while driving to be distracted driving. Cell phone use in a vehicle is so popular due to the power we have right at our fingertips. We can call and text people, play music, and connect it to the vehicle and use GPS to help find locations – all while driving.
The NSC also estimates that 1 in 4 car crashes involve cell phone use. Unfortunately, there is no test to see if the person was using their phone, so many other accidents go unreported. Distraction.gov states that “five seconds is the average time your eyes are off the road while texting. When travelling at 55MPH, that’s enough time to cover a football field while blindfolded.” The distractions mentioned before can cause small fender-benders, or larger wrecks resulting in death. Tragically, a Knoxville Tennessee bus driver received multiple text messages before slamming into a bus. As a result, two young children died along with their teacher’s aide.
Acknowledging the Epidemic
The states are acknowledging this epidemic and taking action against it. While there are no federal actions being taken, multiple states are doing something about it. Driving laws by each state can be found at drivinglaws.org. Some states, such as Idaho, have low fines of only $10 for using a cell phone while driving and $85 for texting and driving. New York has a fine of $100 with surcharge fees up to $85 for using a cellphone while driving. Washington has a $120 fee for first time offenders regardless of talking or texting.
Utah is one of the states taking the most action against this problem. Utah doesn’t have a prohibition on cell phone use while driving, but they have taken an extreme stance on texting and driving. If you are caught, you can face up to 3 months in jail and up to a $750 fine. If a wreck causes injury and you were found to be texting while driving, the fine can increase to $10,000 and imprisonment for up to 15 years. If you get caught texting and driving, you can potentially jeopardize much more than a small fender bender.
Not only will you be fined for your actions, but texting and driving can also cause distressing financial problems with your insurance. Most states have a ban on using a cell phone while driving, and when you’re caught you will get ticketed. These tickets raise your insurance premium just as a speeding ticket would. Your insurance may only slightly raise if you are caught and ticketed, but if you cause a wreck your insurance will increase dramatically. This loss of money is simply not worth it over sending one text or making one call.
Don’t Be a Statistic
No one ever thinks that they will become another statistic of deaths caused by cellphone use and driving. Each year as technology advances more and more people die or become injured or kill others from being distracted. You’re lucky if you only get caught and fined. Not only does it take seconds to end your life or someone else’s life by looking away from the road, but families and loved ones will be impacted emotionally for a lifetime. The text and call can wait, and you will not be another statistic.
Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.