Accidents Caused by Texting While Driving

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In the United States, approximately nine people die and more than 1,000 injured in road accident crashes each day arising from a distracted driver. Nearly 390,000 injuries occur from accidents caused by texting while driving each year. According to Choudhary, one out of every four car accidents in the United States resulted from texting and driving. Additionally, replying to a text takes away driver attention for about five seconds.

Distractions arise when a driver combines driving with another activity thus taking away the driving attention. According to Kunin, texting while driving distracts the driver manually, cognitively and visually. Emily's case study evidently clears doubt on how drivers get distracted and thereafter causing serious accidents on roads. The distraction impairs the capability of focusing, remembering, decision making and problem-solving.

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According to the bottleneck theory, individuals possess a limited amount of attention resources. As a result, only one activity at a time gets full attention. Therefore, information and stimuli get filtered to suit only the most important and salient information perceived. The brain processes information according to the level of attention given by an individual.

Emily’s brain filtered all activities and prioritized on texting activity. Consequently, Emily lost focus and control of the minivan and concentrated on replying to the message. The texting activity occupied the whole brain to the extent that Emily forgot the primary activity of driving.

At first, Emily ensured that every passenger on board seat-belted before the journey. The concept of the brain to retain the memory lies in the attention given to specific activity. Emily remembering capability got shifted after Brian sent a text message. Along the journey, the safety responsibility of five passengers on board faded away. As a result, the accident happened and injured all people in the minivan.

Manual distraction involves taking the driver's hands off the wheel. In this case, Emily got distracted by the text from Brian. Brian decided to end a one-year relationship. The message is disturbing and therefore, Emily’s attention shifts gears. The brain filtered the most important activity and thereafter making a decision in favor of such activity. As a result, Emily texts back using both hands while driving the minivan with knees and elbows.

Normally, trained drivers use hands to control the steering wheel and drive safely. As a consequence, Emily lost control of the minivan. One factor that influences decision making calls for past experience before passing judgment. Emily accelerated the vehicle thus ending up into a ditch. Emily lacked the driving experience to save the situation since she had recently acquired a driving license.

Also, problem-solving skill, dictates that a person needs to discover and analyze the situation before making a conclusion. The skill calls for problem discovery, available decision to handle the issue, problem understanding and then taking actions to accomplish the intended goal (Choudhary, &Velaga 2017). Emily's disregard for the skill ended up bumping her head on the steering wheel causing injuries to other passengers on board.

Cognitive and visual distractions occurs when a driver loses mental and sight focus on the driving act. The effect brings about blindness to the surroundings. All the information around the driver’s immediate environment goes unnoticed. As a result, the driver loses sight and attention to other vehicles using the same road and traffic control devices. Due to texting, Emily’s brain reduced active parts activities that impaired driving attention. Thus, brain parts tasked with overseeing navigation and processing visual information got distracted.

Attention skills enable a person to respond to daily environmental demands whereby, a person selects and integrates all the relevant information perceived, originating from different sensory channels, and thereby associating them with conceptually superior groupings. Emily's attention got carried away and therefore lost the capability of noticing the minivan going off the road.

First, self-confidence plays a major role in determining the ability to drive and text. According to a study carried out by Progressive Insurance, one-third of drivers feel confident while driving and texting. In addition, the study reveals that young aged drivers possess a strong attitude towards the ability compared to the old generation.

Secondly, drivers lack knowledge of vehicle structure. There exist a difference between the driver’s brain and the vehicle structure. Thus, a driver uses the brain to control the vehicle but the vehicle lacks a brain to control the driver. A driver's understanding of such a concept becomes limited. Safe driving originates from the driver.

Thirdly, ignorance and negligence also play a key role. Drivers assume that long experience substitutes driving skills. Drivers perceive that the control mechanism gets automatically applied in case the attention gets drawn away while driving. As a consequence, the ability of a driver to make a decision becomes compromised causing an accident.

In conclusion, the central bottleneck theory summarizes how individual brains work when subjected to various activities. Emily's texting activity became superior to driving thus brain focused on the major activity. As a result, attention, remembering and decision making capability became compromised. Consequently, Emily caused the accident injuring all passengers on board. The case study shows the dangers of texting while driving and the consequences involved. 

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