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Persuasive Speech Outline

Intro: Nineteen states and Washington, D.C., have banned it. The Transportation Department prohibits truckers and bus drivers from doing it. President Obama has outlawed the practice for all federal employees, and Jonathan Adkins of the Governors Highway Safety Association thinks it should be forbidden in every state. Does anyone know what Im talking about? Texting while driving. My intentions are to persuade you to think twice next time you pull out your phone while driving. Im going to touch on why texting while driving is bad, a couple of studies that provide shocking evidence on how impaired someone is when they are texting and driving and texting while driving vs. driving drunk.

Support1: Nowadays, we can find many studies that examine the effects of texting while driving. The one conclusion they all seem to have is that texting impairs a drivers abilities. One of the most obvious things that happen when a driver is texting while driving is that the driver would avert his or her eyes from the road for around five seconds. This is more than enough time for a person to run in front of the vehicle or for the vehicle in front of you to make a sudden stop or to miss seeing the light change. Despite all that, many people still text while driving. 1:07. The video you just saw is a public service announcement that originated out of Gwent, Wales in the United Kingdom. It did not make it past the U.S. TV censors. It was aired on TODAY and even then, segments were cut out. The effect this video has on its audience is because it is so graphic it sticks in peoples minds. Thats what its mission is.

Support2: According to researchers from the University of North Texas Health Science Center in Ft. Worth, texting behind the wheel accounted for 16,141 deaths between 2002 and 2007. The percentage of all traffic deaths caused by distracted driving rose from 11% in 1999 to 16% in 2008. Distracted-driving crashes are more common in urban areas. Overall, 40% of all crashes happened in urban

areas in 2008, up from 33% a decade earlier. Only one-third of Americans had a cell phone in 1999. By 2008, 91% of us did. Texting is on the rise, up from 9.8 billion messages a month in December 05 to 110.4 billion in December 08. Another study conducted at Virginia Tech found that texting drivers are 23 times more likely to be involved in a collision than non-texters. And although the AAA reports 95 percent of drivers polled acknowledge texting while driving is dangerous, 21 percent of them have done it recently anyway. Another thing that happens when a driver is texting is that the drivers mind would be on the message that they are reading or writing. This of course, prevents the diver from thinking quickly to a situation on the road because he or she is thinking about the message. Car and Driver Magazine conducted a study in which the driver of a vehicle would actually read and type out text messages while driving. The study solely focused on the drivers reaction times to a light mounted on the windshield at eye level, meant to simulate a lead cars brake lights. The test was conducted on an old airplane runway, away from pedestrians, traffic, and real life driving conditions. The passenger would trigger the light and the driver was instructed to brake every time he saw the red light. While reading a text and driving at 35 mph, the drivers average baseline reaction time of 0.57 seconds nearly tripled, to 1.44 seconds. While texting, his response time was 1.36 seconds. These figures correspond to an extra 45 and 41 feet, respectively, before hitting the brakes. Think of what could happen in 41-45 feet if youre not paying attention while driving.

Support3: Lastly the study compared driving while under the influence of alcohol to texting while driving. The results were eye opening. The driver drank enough alcohol to be at the legal limit of 0.08% blood alcohol content. The drivers reaction time after drinking averaged 0.64 seconds and, by comparison, added only seven feet. The results at 70 mph were similar. The drivers response time while reading a text was 0.35 seconds longer than his base performance of 0.56 seconds, and writing a text added 0.68 seconds to his reaction time. But his intoxicated number increased only 0.04 second over the base score, to a total of 0.60 second. This

test was using a straight road without any traffic, road signs, or pedestrians and was only testing reaction time. The method that most of us use AKA the two hands on the wheel with the phone in front of our faces would make it difficult to do anything other than hit the brakes. If anything in the periphery required a response, the drivers would have found themselves in a possible fatal accident. Conclusion: To sum it all up for you is pretty easy. Dont text while driving. Everyone thinks they are the best driver, or a pretty good one to say the least, but all it takes is for your eyes to be off the road for a few seconds and an accident can occur. Youve heard how texting while driving is, if not equal, worse than driving under the influence of alcohol, that should be enough right there. All the studies that have been conducted are there for a reason. So many people have cell phones and text regularly on a minute to minute basis that its hard not to send a quick message while behind the wheel, but for your sake and others out there, wait until you stop driving, youll see the person soon enough.

Works Cited

Austin, Michael. "Texting While Driving: How Dangerous is it?" Car and Driver. N.p., June 2009. Web. 17 Nov. 2010. < texting_while_driving_how_dangerous_is_it_-feature>.

Inbar, Michael. "Is PSA about texting while driving too graphic? ." MSNBC. N.p., Aug. 2009. Web. 17 Nov. 2010. <>.

Kaplan, Karen. "Researchers calculate the death toll from texting while driving." Los Angeles Times 24 Sept. 2010: n. pag. Web. 16 Nov. 2010. < boostershots/la-heb-distracted-driving-20100924,0,3103350.story>.

LeBeau, Phil. "Texting And Driving Worse Than Drinking and Driving." CNBC. N.p., June 2009. Web. 17 Nov. 2010. <>. Pfeiffer, Sacha. "Texting While Driving: Put The Thumbs Away." NPR. N.p., 10 Mar. 2010. Web. 17 Nov. 2010. <>.