English Comp I- 1010
7 April 2014
Do Not Be Distracted
I do it; you do it, that guy over there definitely does it. What do we all do? We drive! When the automobile was first produced in 1885 it was designed to get people from one place to another. However, their purpose has evolved; now we use them as a beauty parlor, a lunchroom, or home office location. When driving, the risk of crashing is always a possibility; but with a distraction in your hand the risk is four times greater. Using a cell phone while driving has become a big problem in areas around the globe. It is the second cause for most deaths in the United States.
Cell phones are used these days for keeping up with friends through social media, texting, playing music, and even checking the daily news or weather but what is it really doing for us? It’s costing us our family and friends due to a driver who thought their cell phone was more important their life or even someone else’s. David Strayer, a psychology professor at the University of Utah, estimates that only 2% of people can safely multitask while driving. According to his estimation, a driver has a one in fifty chance of having the skills necessary to multitask while continuing to drive safely. To assume that one has those skills is a major hazard. Strayer’s studies suggest, however, that a driver having a passenger can actually cause less harm than talking on a cell phone.
Cell phones are not the only cause for crashes in a vehicle some other distractions may also include putting on makeup, listening to loud music, or talking to a passenger. According to the Official US Website for Distracted Driving, it states, “11% of all drivers under the age of 20 involved in fatal crashes were reported as distracted at the time of the crash. This age group has the largest proportion of drivers who were distracted.” This age group is all beginning year drivers, which means our generation is the worst distracted drivers. If a teen hears their favorite song on the radio and look down for a second, the person in front of them could have slammed on their brakes. Next thing the teen knows is they are in the back of another vehicle.
Many states are enacting laws—such as banning texting while driving, or using graduated driver licensing systems for teen drivers—to help raise awareness about the dangers of distracted driving and to keep it from occurring. However, the effectiveness of cell phone and texting laws on decreasing distracted driving-related crashes requires further study. According to the US Department of Transportation, On October 27, 2010, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration enacted a ban that prohibits commercial vehicle drivers from texting while driving. This will help out greatly due to the fact that commercial vehicles are the biggest vehicles on the road, if they get distracted for too long, they could easily crash into more than one car at a time. This could cause injury to several people or even lead to death.
Texting while driving is linked with drinking and driving or riding with someone who has been drinking among high school students in the United States, according to a CDC study that analyzed self-report data from the 2011 national Youth Risk Behavior Survey. Students who reported engaging in risky driving behaviors said that they did so at least once in the 30 days prior to the survey. Key findings from the study revealed that: Nearly half of all U.S. high school students aged 16 years or older text or email while driving,