Emmaus High Student Asks: Is Distracted Driving Worth It?
Emmaus High School sophomore Taylor Lovett says that Distracted Drivers need to ask themselves 'Can it wait?' before taking their eyes off the road.
Special to Emmaus Patch by Taylor Lovett
Take a look in the mirror, what do you see? A Distracted Driver? Then realize you are among the many other drivers all over the world who have been affected by Distracted Driving.
Distracted driving should be reduced and quickly put to a stop. “Distracted driving is any activity that could divert a person's attention away from the primary task of driving. All distractions endanger driver, passenger and bystander safety.” (distraction.gov, 1). The official United States government web site for Distracted Driving has stated, Distracted Driving consist of many activities such as “texting, eating or drinking, talking to passengers, grooming, reading, watching a video, and adjusting the radio/cd player.” (distraction.gov, 1). By taking part in any of these activities you are putting yourself and other drivers in danger.
A person who is driving while distracted has just increased his chances of becoming another sad story in the local paper. Most victims of distracted driving have a habit of repeating the same distractions each time they enter a vehicle. One of the most common types of distracted driving activities is texting. “because text messaging requires visual, manual, and cognitive attention from the driver, it is by far the most alarming distraction.” (distraction.gov, 1). In Pennsylvania texting fines for all age drivers have started at a minimum of $50. (handfreeinfo.com, 1). Texting while driving is just one of the leading causes of vehicle accidents in America.
The most common types of distracted driving activities are applying makeup, conversing, reading at a red light and changing the radio station. I personally think these types of activities are easier to get away with, but that does not mean they are less dangerous than texting. “In 2010, 3092 people were killed in crashes involving a distracted driver and an estimated additional 416,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving a distracted driver.” (distraction.gov, 1). Other activities besides texting have fatal endings as well.
There are many easy ways that a Distracted Driver can quit his or her bad habits. If you are constantly checking your phone, drivers can turn off their phones or put them on silent. For other distracting activities, drivers can preset their radio stations before they start driving, they can look in the mirror before taking off and finish their book before or after they drive. Once applied, all of these factors can keep drivers safe and focused.
Distracted Driving can also impair your normal reaction time, just like drinking alcohol would. When driving your brain is focusing on one thing THE ROAD; but adding another distracting activity can decrease your normal reaction time. Many people believe that doing certain distracting activities will not affect them, and others believe it does not matter how they drive. I think drivers should be more considerate of how they view distracted driving.
New drivers have increased probability of attempting certain distraction activities. “11 percent 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.” (distraction.gov, 1). One main reason why most drivers continue to take part in Distracted Driving activities, is because they have gotten away safely once before while completing the same activity. This places more drivers at risk of crashes and injuries.
In my opinion Distracted Driving is not worth the risk at all. I encourage you to stop your bad habits, and apply tactics to pry yourself away from the risky distractions.
So before you begin to finish the last chapter of your book at red lights, check your makeup, or open your new text message ask yourself these questions, “Is it worth it?” and “can it wait?”
Taylor Lovett is a currently a student in Ms. Bonnie Raub's 10th grade honors English class at Emmaus High School. Lovett wrote this essay as part of a class assignment.