Distracted Driving

textdrive1 By: Brandan Persaud

Technological advancements help modern day society in many different aspects. However, teens and adults are faced with one clear disadvantage of these advancements, distracted driving. Although 39 states plus D.C. prohibit all drivers from text messaging, it doesn’t stop there. As stated on textinganddrivingsafety.com, “Text messaging makes a crash up to 23 times more likely.” Also, “77% of young adults are very or somewhat confident that they can safely text while driving.” I don’t know about you, but that last percentage is frightening and it’s very unfortunate to lose someone to such a senseless act.

Distracted driving can be visual, manual, or cognitive.  Whether you take your eyes off the road, lose mental focus or take your hands off the wheel, you are a distracted driver. Distracted driving also includes, eating/ drinking, applying makeup, talking to passengers, changing your music station etc. With that said, “48% of young drivers have seen their parents drive while talking on a cell  phone.” I’m sure all of us have heard the expression: “set a good example for the younger ones.”  Distracted driving is NOT a MINOR problem, it is up to YOU to change this and raise awareness of this MAJOR problem.

According to the US Government website: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,  every single day, distracted driving results in 9 deaths and 1,060 injuries. Think about how many lives could be saved if we all pledged to not be distracted drivers.

textdrive3Members of the faculty at LBHS were  randomly surveyed on the issue of distracted driving. One of the questions asked:

When at a STOP sign or red light, do you use your phone, not only to text, but also to go on or check your social media accounts (ie; Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram), email, or change your music?

In the age group of 20-30 year olds: three out of four faculty members said yes and one said “sometimes.” Also, two out of four responded yes to texting while driving. While these people responded yes, they admitted that texting while driving is extremely dangerous. They also admitted that they have made efforts to end this habit of texting while driving.

On a National scale the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported the following statistics:

  • 69% of drivers in the United States ages 18-64 reported that they had talked on their cell phone while driving within the 30 days before they were surveyed.”
  • 31% of U.S. drivers ages 18-64 reported that they had read or sent text messages or email messages while driving at least once within the 30 days before they were surveyed.

For related information, check out the website at: http://www.cdc.gov/motorvehiclesafety/distracted_driving/

I challenge YOU, to make a difference and help save yourselves and your loved ones from such preventable tragedies. You can do this by one, not using your phone, in any way, shape, or form when you drive. Secondly, share your knowledge to the driver when you are the passenger, DO NOT allow them to use their cell phones either.

Take the pledge to never text and drive at www.itcanwait.com Spread the word to others and get updates on what people are doing to make a difference on this website as well. textdrive2

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