A Lethal Text

Finnley H

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I was born in 1999, and this means I am part of what is known as the I-Gen, (I-Generation) and this nickname is pretty accurate to the people it represents. Probably one of the most important things that teens do on a daily basis (whether we want it to be or not) is maintain a regular connection to our phones, and sadly, this often includes while we drive. I have noticed that often teens are distracted by their music apps more so than texts; apps that stream music require a couple seconds of attention to, “find the perfect song.” This often results in dangerous, distracted driving, and all because a song wasn’t as hype as another. Our world moves at a very fast pace, and often teens have little patience for anything that doesn’t entertain us; another reason is naivety. We always hear about people getting into wrecks while being distracted, but since teens are young and full of life, we believe we are almost invincible, and that a crash would never involve us. The facts prove that a crash is not only possible while texting and driving, its inevitable, and I believe this is the start of a step we can take to limit distracted driving. TV, movies, and video games are all becoming more and more violent and gory, and we, as teens, are watching and playing more and more of these violent things. This causes us to see crashes and the like as no big deal often because we are more desensitized to these occurrences. An unpopular, but effective, solution could be creating more realistic and horrifying anti-distracted driving commercials. Like I said, this is most likely unpopular, but I can guarantee that a video where the driver and passengers are just scared but happy to be alive is going to receive far less attention from teen drivers than a commercial showing footage of a real car crash where there are real injuries, real tears, and real blood. The best way to get teen drivers to sit up and pay attention is to shock them into it, and real footage will show the real life consequences of distracted driving. A crash does not always have a happy ending, and teen drivers need to realize this so they can start improving their driving habits. Showing us the benefits of safe driving is a lot less effective than showing us the consequences, real consequences, of distracted driving. Another solution would be to work with the music streaming companies, and find a practical solution to keep drivers from checking their phones to change the music. Perhaps voice recognition? Instead of searching for their favorite artist, drivers can call the app’s wake up command and instruct it to play that artist instead. Many companies already have this technology, and it seems to work for them; this would remove a good amount of distracted driving if we could implement this into both music streaming apps and text messaging apps. Making these apps more difficult to access while driving to promote the driver to stay off the apps would only prove more dangerous as the driver would spend more time trying to unlock the app instead of leaving it alone. However, making them so easily accessible, like voice commands, that they require very little attention might just do the trick!