Technology has become an essential part of our lives in this modern-day and age as they become increasingly more convenient. Over the past decade, the use of mobile phones has increased exponentially. With that, the accidents caused by distracted driving has also increased significantly. It is as dangerous as driving while impaired and should result in mandatory jail time for repeat offenders due to the frequency. There are laws in place to deter people. Still, the penalties aren’t severe enough to show how dangerous texting and driving is, and we should make it a significant offense due to the danger it poses to the person texting and the others around them.
The Frequency of Texting and Driving
As mobile phones become more versatile, the more tempting it is to use it while in the car. Whether it be to respond to a text or to read the news, hand-held devices have made it much easier for people to get distracted while driving, and a severe punishment is necessary to deter people from doing so. Every day in the United States, nine people are killed, and over a thousand are injured in accidents caused by distracted driving. (Green Distracted Driving) The National Safety Council reports that using a cellphone while driving leads to 1.6 million crashes every year. (Whitman Texting And Driving Statistics) It is a severe problem that is hard to stop due to the temptation to check a notification on your phone, but most people understand that a text is not worth the potential risk. However, there is a small percentage of the population that are aware of the risks that come with distracted driving, but choose to do so anyway due to poor sense of judgement and their lack of empathy for people on the road with them.
The Severity of Texting and Driving
People believe that drunk driving is far more severe than texting and driving. However, when you are inebriated, you still focus on what is in front of you. Your attention divided between several things at once when texting and driving, making it far more dangerous. Distracted driving is a serious crime and should be punished as such. People can lose their lives due to a second of distraction. Texting while driving has been reported to be 6x Odds of causing an accident are better than drunk driving. (Whitman Texting and Driving Statistics) There are three types of distracted driving, manual, cognitive, and visual. Drunk driving affects the cognitive aspect, but texting while driving combines all of the risk factors because you have one hand dedicated to the phone, your eyes are watching the screen, and you turn your mental focus towards your phone rather than the road. 21% of teen drivers involved in fatal accidents were distracted by their cell phones. (Snyder Texting and Driving Accident Statistics – Distracted Driving) A writer states how texting and driving have affected others around him. “He was rear-ended by a texting driver, the impact threw his car forward, killing two people walking on the nearby sidewalk. Why was that driver texting? To explain to her boss why she was late to work.” (James Texting While Driving Should Land You in Jail) It is devastating to see preventable accidents cause so many casualties. The offenders have to live with the knowledge that they killed somebody due to their carelessness. It is important to emphasize just how deadly such a simple distraction can be.
The Punishment of Texting and Driving
Jail time should be mandatory for repeat offenders of texting and driving. It is an offense that puts others in great danger and should be criminalized. First-time offenders should be punished severely, with an automatic one-year suspension of their license. Afterward, if they repeat it, they should be sentenced to jail. Repeat offenders should have no excuse, and deserve to be punished for their stupidity and recklessness. The threat of jail would caution drivers to avoid using their phones while driving because it shows just how serious it can be- It is time for the government to take this as a severe crime because it endangers other people’s well-being, including the driver themselves.
In conclusion, jail time should be mandatory for repeat offenders of texting and driving, due to the frequency, severity, and dangers it poses to the driver and others on the road. The punishment would act as a deterrent and keep the roads much safer, as the cause for distracted driving would go away. It is a small step in the right direction as technology advances. Phones are a great tool, but also a very tempting one. It is essential to discipline ourselves so that we avoid accidents in the future.