All of us have seen it, and it just makes us shake our collective heads. There are some cellphone users who seem to be low on time, so solve the problem by multitasking while driving. If they’re making phone calls, that’s not too much of a problem, but it’s the texting while driving that is a definite problem. There is no possible way you can be giving your full attention to the road if you are reading or replying to a text.
The Journal of the American Medical Association has noticed this as well in a published essay. While their obvious goal is the safety of everyone, their solution just isn’t very practical at this point. The authors are suggesting that cellphones should be rendered inoperable when they are inside a motor vehicle.
Map of the United States showing states with texting while driving laws. States in red ban texting while driving for all drivers, while states in yellow do so only for new drivers.
While it’s obvious that a change needs to be made, that hard of a stance is going too far to eliminate texting while driving. There are laws in most states to guard against the practice, but it obviously isn’t enough, as it still goes on. A 2010 report claimed that each day fifteen people were killed and 1200 injured because of a distracted driver. Each. Day. Clearly texting while driving is a practice that needs to be eliminated. And let’s not forget the other distractions on smartphones such as games, Facebook, Pinterest, etc.
Yet, what the two gentlemen at the AMA who made this recommendation are forgetting is that cell phones being turned on and operable in your car actually do a lot of good. Forgetting the fact that they can help you out with the GPS if you get lost and save you a great amount of time by being able to connect to people on the spot with a quick phone call to find out the meeting place has changed, phones can also call for help. Those 1200 injured people needed help. How did they find it? By calling on their cell phone, or having a passerby do the same.
We can do some very amazing things with technology, and it would certainly be within the realm of what is currently out there to find a way to just disable everything but necessary functions. It’s important. It’s a matter of life and death, and that means for either texting while driving or being in an accident and not having access to emergency care via a phone.
What do you suggest? How should the mobile phone industry protect itself in this cause, yet all solve the problem to put an end to it? Let us know in the comments below.