Texting and driving is, without doubt, a big issue in the United States. With the large majority of the U.S population having both cell phones and cars, texting while driving would seem like a popular occurence, especially amoung the younger popular. And it is. According to TeenDriverSource.org, which references a recent study by the CenterS for Disease Control and Prevention, fifty-eight percent of high school seniors admitted to texting and driving during the month before the study was conducted. Additionally, the study also found that text while driving distracted the teen drivers for longer periods of time than other distractions, such as friends in the car, music, or food.
You would think with all our modern technology that the message would be clear. But not to some, apparently. Check out this video from CNN:
Amanda Khloer, a typical young American driver, was texting behind the wheel when she got into an accident. She was so critically injured that she needed twenty surgeries, thirty-six metal plates, and forty-six screws just to survive the incident. One of her surgeries left her with only one eye. Khloer has become a public speaker on the texting and driving issue due to her accident, which is great in an of itself, but she still has to live her whole life full of regret, pondering whether she really needed to respond to that “hi” or that “how r u doin”.
I could provide numerous other examples of people being critically injured from texting and driving incidents, but that would be besides the point. America is still not doing enough to convince its citizens of the dangers of texting and driving. As of 2012, ten states have institued phone-ban policies in cars, with all but two of those states considering it a primary offense (in other words, you get fined a lot more money). My question is, why not in every state? It’s not like cell phones are somehow less dangerous or time-consuming in some states than they are in others. In-car cell phone bans need to be nationwide in some form, whether it be through fifty individual laws, or a sort of federal mandate. The issue is probably too specific to allow for an amendment to the U.S constitution, but perhaps the passage of an act by Congress declaring the full illegality of cell phones in motor vehicles would cause, well, action.
Another driving force of the texting and driving ban could be Michelle Obama, the First Lady herself. Everyone knows about her nutrition reform, and she is popular among working-class Americans, so her presence could influence many people not to text and drive. According to a 2011 poll by Washington Whispers, a U.S news site, thirty-percent of Americans want Michelle Obama to be more active in the texting and driving debate.