The Dangers of Distracted Driving
Friday, February 1, 2019 Julia Costa
Human communication technique has come a long way from postage, to radios, to phones. With the exciting growth of technology comes the dangers of such technilogical advancements in various parts of our lives. Although it has made life easier because everyone is now “connected,” many different technological advancements have also caused a lot of accidents, most notably behind the wheel of a car.
According to NHTSA; during daylight across America, about an estimated 660,000 drivers are manipulating mobile devices when driving. According to the CDC, about nine people are killed and more than 1,000 seriously injured daily in the United States due to distracted driving. This speaks wonders to how easy it is to let different elements distract you from driving safely. Will you be one of them?
So how can you help decrease the statistic? Well, to start, we all must give new drivers strict instructions not to use a wireless device while driving a car. Reiterate how harmful it can be, even if you only look down for a few seconds, remember how fast your car is actually moving. In fact, a car driving at 55 mph would cover 80.7 feet per second (that’s more distance than a tennis court!). In addition, we can lead our kids by example; don’t just preach not to text and drive and then do it yourself. In addition to phone use, don’t allow new drivers to listen to loud music while operating a vehicle. Just starting out driving can be nerve wracking enough, blasting radio music does not help them stay focused. Lastly, inform yourself on the statistics and facts of distracted driving and take action to inform kids at your local schools and events or even the people around you at your workplace or in your community. Distracted driving is too serious to ignore.
There’s many other ways distracted driving has taken control of our roads. All driving distractions are characterized in three categories:
- Visual distraction- Taking your eyes off the road
- Cognitive distraction- taking your mind off the road
- Manual Distraction- Taking your hands off the wheel.
With all of these distractions comes a decrease in reaction time and an increase in accident risk. So, although it’s fun to have music playing or to talk to friends when driving, it’s more important to keep all areas of your body focused towards the task at hand; arriving safely to a destination.
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