It can be hard to even picture, but there was once a world without text messaging, and it was not even that long ago. In fact, before 1992 there were no motor vehicle accidents in Tennessee that were caused by a driver sending a text message and not paying attention to the road. Why? Because text messaging did not even exist yet.
The first short message service, or SMS text, was sent from Vodafone Group Plc's network on Dec. 3, 1992. The message simply read, "Merry Christmas." Since then, the messages have not only grown in length and complexity, but the sheer number of messages being sent daily has greatly increased. Now, aside from just sending text messages, senders can also share photos.
Researcher Informa Plc estimates that there will be 9.4 trillion text messages sent by users by 2016. If this ends up being true, this would be a 40 percent increase from now in terms of the number of text messages being sent.
Take this projected increase in texting, and the fact that more and more people are relying on smartphones with applications such as Facebook and Twitter, and one can easily make connections between the increase in distractions, the urge to use these devices and communication techniques when driving, and an increase in motor vehicle accidents.
Of course, one could argue that as distracted driving from smartphones and texting have become more popular, there have also been laws created to combat the dangers. For example, Tennessee adopted a primary law that bans texting for all drivers and another law to ban cellphone use for novice drivers.
However, while these are laws, the truth is that some drivers still skirt the rules and text while driving anyways. This often results in accidents that could have been prevented.