Distracted driving: Texting and driving. By Osniel Garciga
Part One- Identify The Issue
• Distracted driving is “any activity that could divert a person’s attention away from the primary task of driving.
• Smartphones have made it easy for us to stay connected at all times.
However, cell phone usage whilst driving is a major contributes to fatal car crashes; The National Safety Council reports that cell phone use while driving leads to 1.6 million crashes and 330,000 injuries each year. Many people, especially teenagers who use their cell phone when they are driving think that answering a text message, phone calls, e-mail or surfing the web is more important than paying attention to the road. Statistics show the texting while driving has the capability of making the driver 23 times more likely to crash.
Teenager texting while they are driving gives them the reaction time of a seventy years old person. Teenagers from ages of 15 to 19 make up the largest group of distracted drivers and 21% of drivers around those ages were reported to be involved in fatal car crashes from distraction by cell phones.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety says that using cell phones while driving kills 11 teens every single day. According to AAA poll, 94% of teen drivers acknowledge the dangers of texting and driving, but 35% admitted to doing it anyway. The issue of texting while driving is being addressed by many organizations. There are many websites that list tips that will decrease the number of fatal crashes due to distraction. Stoptextsstopwrecks.org is a website affiliated with the NHTSA that provides simple tips that can help keep roads safe such as putting your phone somewhere you won’t pay attention to it, turning the ringer off while you drive, downloading an app that alerts you to not text when you’re driving, or if your text is that important and you have passengers in the car, have them text for you. AAA has been working since
1984 to educate people about the risk of cell phones and prevent distracted driving throughout social media, brochures and pamphlets, even, community event and driver’s education classes.