Texting While Driving……. is it even humanly possible?
By: Nick Rizzo
Cell phones are some of the most advanced devices out there. They help keep us in touch with love ones, social media, and they also help with sending little messages extremely quickly. Text messages are one of the greatest inventions mankind has ever seen, but they are also one of mankind’s worst killers. People get behind the wheel of a car and feel they need to occupy themselves with something other than driving. With these text messages, such innovation has proven to be so used in today’s society. With the continued use of this innovation, it is also slowly sending us back to the uneducated days of the cave men. Texting while driving should not even be attempted!
The debate surrounding the idea of texting while driving is startling. Some people are fine with the idea of texting while driving. Then we have other normal human beings who understand the implications of performing such a heinous act. Texting while driving has only been banned from 44 states in the United States. That to me just blows my mind because how could it not be banned everywhere? The debate I found on the website provided by Chris, had some starting opposition. I could not believe my eyes when I saw people okay with the idea of texting while driving. “Texting and driving is the only way to be the most cautious driver ever. You guys say that it can kill you right? Good. The idea if your death just makes you even more cautious.”, is something someone is trying to shove down the throats of readers. Could someone be so dense and naive? I could not even believe someone could post something like that. The idea of death is a motivator to fight for survival, but that should not be applied to texting and driving. It is not just your life you have to worry about, but more importantly the people around you and their lives. People against the idea of texting and driving had much more thoughtful and practical points to the debate. People against texting and driving talked about how drivers who text swerve or take their eyes off the road for a time that amounts to driving the length of a football field. These are great point to make because this debate is an easy one. The whole debate behind texting and driving is that people think it is completely fine and that we are more than capable of doing this. I believe this is an important issue to debate because text messages are pop culture and fully integrated into society, but could prove to be truly harmful to society while driving. Young people and older people text. Whether it is sending text messages to a girlfriend or your grandmother reminding you to eat, everyone uses text messages. This is an important issue to debate because people still do not understand that the human brain is not made to text and drive. People need to understand that their lives are not that important and a simple message while driving can wait. People put their social lives above anything else now a days. Attending to your social life could mean the difference between life and death. Throughout this blog, one will see that the human body is not made for such things.
Back in 2010, 3,092 people were killed by people who texted and drove, while injury from these acts amounted to 416,000 people. It is an eerie thought to think that 3,092 people will never return to their family or loved ones. This is a serious issue in modern society and we need to be opposed to it. People think their social lives are so much above their actual lives. To some people, sending that tweet or posting that artsy instagram photo, is more important than their lives or the lives around them. No social medial or social live should be put above someone’s actual lives. People think they are so important now a days, but at the end of the day what should matter are our actual lives and safety. Texting while driving should not even be attempted because driver’s eyes are taken off the road for too long, human brains cannot even handle this kind of multitasking and the only reason this is happening is because adults are setting a bad example. A DWI, driving while intoxicated, has always been a problem for years, but now a new DWI has made its way to the books. DWI, driving while intexticated, is the term being used for people whom text and drive. The eyes of everyone should be open about this issue, so when getting behind the wheel of a vehicle, put down the phone and save a life.
Eyes allow people to see the world in their own way, giving people vivid colors and a whole new perspective to the world around them. When someone is driving, their eyes allow them to see road signs, beautiful sights, and other vehicles. Since there is such a spectacular view, why would someone want to take their eyes off of it? When a cell phone rings, people immediately drop what they’re doing; in this case it is the steering wheel of a car. They receive the sudden urge to check the message on their phone. Each time the driver takes their eyes off the road to view a text; the time it takes them to do this is minimally five seconds. Five seconds does not seem like a long time, but when speed is factored in, it can equate to quite the eye opener. If someone is traveling fifty-five miles an hour and they take their eyes off the road, they have just driven the length of a football field. Please do not sit there and say, “I am just going to look away for a quick five seconds”. In those five seconds, one football field is quite the distance to travel, which leaves quite the space for an accident to occur. Just think, taking your eyes off the road for five seconds could kill all the players on your favorite football team. Use your brain; is the text really worth it?
The brain allowed humans to put a man on the moon and solve the theory of relativity. The brain also allows humans to text and drive, but too bad humans are terrible multitaskers. The human brain has a limit to what it can and cannot do. When we push our limits or tax our brains, we are over extending the capabilities of the brain. By pushing the limits of the brain’s capacity, problems can arise. Communications expert Zheng Wang put it perfectly, “We can talk and watch television at the same time, but we can’t carry on two conversations simultaneously”. Wang performed some studies to test the theory if humans can truly multitask with ease. When someone is driving a car and texting, they are essentially multitasking. According to Wang, when people are using two different types of the five senses, there is not such a huge tax on the brain. When people try to use the same sense to perform twice as many tasks, this is where they run into problems. When Wang had her participants watch something and listen to something, their concentration was pretty stable. When she tested them again using two visual challenges, their concentration dropped.
Our brain can handle when different of our five senses are engaged, but it has trouble when we call upon the same sense to do two things at once. When people are texting and driving, they are taxing their sight sense. They are trying to look at the road and then at the same time trying to look at their phone’s screen. Wang was happy with these results, but what troubled her were people’s responses. During the tests, the participants said they were concentrating better or just as good as if they were not doing anything. In reality their concentration was reduced by fifty percent. When people get in a car, they think they are invincible, and can do anything; this includes multitasking. Fifty-five percent of adults think they can text and drive no problem (Marino). No one can text and drive because our brains will not allow us to do so. You may think you have a texting talent, but the study shows it. When we are responding to things using the same sense, our concentration is significantly reduced.
It is always funny when parents tell their kids not to do something, but then the parent goes around doing it also. People tend to say teens are always the ones texting and driving. In some cases, this is true, but on the other hand this is not true. Kids are always absorbing new information. A lot of what kids learn is from what their parents do. Kids may not necessarily start texting and driving, unless they see an authority figure doing it. Twenty-seven percent of kids have seen their parents send or receive a text message while driving. If kids are seeing their parents do it, then they think it is ok.
Parents need to set the example and take a stand here by putting down their phones while driving. This will help show their kids how devastating texting and driving is. No body should even be thinking of texting and driving, but this starts with the parents. With forty-eight percent of children seeing their parents use their cell phone while driving, it is hard to not follow their example. The parents are putting their kids in danger and all the people around them by texting and driving. If parents truly cared about their kids, they would stop using their phones while driving. They need to set the example for their children in order to show that texting and driving is a bad habit. If they can stop this habit early, the children will not even think of doing it when they start to drive.
The facts are there and we need to understand that texting should not even be attempted while driving. Our brains cannot handle the acts of driving and texting. One of the worst rationales for this debate was posted on the debate website. Someone posted a rationale in opposition for this debate that was quite troubling. “I am certain that texting and driving is not bad at all. In fact it opens our senses to the world around you. Texting and driving is the only way to be the most cautious driver ever”, is such a troubling statement to make. This person is no expert on the matter and what was said is just ludicrous. This person is making the argument that it would make them more cautious. Our brains physically cannot engage in texting and driving. It overloads the senses and causes our brain to have to pick one sense to focus on. To make an argument like this person is trying to make is extraordinarily scary. What if someone read that comment and believed it? People need to understand the argument and get their facts straight to be reputable.
660,000 drives a day occupy themselves with cell phones or other electronics while driving. We need to put an end to this! People need to realize that texting while driving should not even be attempted because driver’s eyes are taken off the road for too long, human brains cannot even handle this kind of multitasking and the only reason this is happening is because adults are setting a bad example. Texting and driving takes the human eyes off the road long enough to kill a whole football field worth of players. Those five seconds could mean the difference between life and death. The brain is not designed to handle the stress of texting and driving. When someone texts and drives, they are overloading one of their five senses and the brain has a problem coping with this. Can you levitate things with your mind? People physically cannot levitate things with their minds because our brains are not designed to do that. Our brains are not designed to text and drive, so do not do it. People can read something on a sheet of paper, but the things that are going to convince them the most, are the habits they form from a young age. Parents need to stop texting and driving and show their kids good practices. When someone drives, they need to put down the phone and focus on doing one thing. The children will see the example and then want to be like the authority figure. We are only human, so put down the phone and do not text and drive!