A Futuristic Solution to Distracted Driving: Autonomous Cars?

Madison R


Driving is something people don’t think much about; it is a very simple concept yet a necessity for our daily lives. Another part that has become an even more important part of our lives are our smartphones. It seems that no one goes without an hour without checking it for emails or texts. But when the two mix is when worlds start to fall apart. The number one cause of crashes and collisions in the U.S is due to the usage of smartphones while operating a vehicle, not only can these crashes be fatal but they are in fact highly avoidable. There have been many attempts to fix this growing issue, but the fact of the matter is that collisions caused by distracted cellphone usage will never be completely eradicated until the role of humans in the driver’s seat is no longer needed. It is when cars become completely autonomous is when the number or crashes and collisions due to distractions like smartphones will drop to zero. So far in the past years, the world of driverless vehicles has grown immensely and is showing much promise to our future in innovative automotive. Although there have been some debates about whether these vehicles will be safe enough for our roads, the technology is still under development. Companies like Google and Uber have invested their futures and the futures of their companies in the testing and development of the technology. It will take some time before you will see many cars like these on the roads, but after testing and the gathering of statistical data this may be the future of how we travel. If everyone owns and travels in autonomous vehicles, this will completely rid the roads of collisions and crashes due to distracted drivers. More recently a tragic event that took place in Arizona involving a driverless vehicle and a pedestrian. On Sunday March 18th, a woman was struck by an autonomous vehicle belonging to the Uber company. It was said that even though the car was autonomous there was still a driver behind the wheel of the vehicle the woman’s life was still lost. Although this event was very tragic it gave companies like Google and Uber a reality check that their technology is far from ready to be put onto the streets. Until they have improved the technology within the cars so that no error occurs we will not see these completely driverless vehicles on the roads just yet. In conclusion, the real solution to crashes and collisions due to distracted driving is to eliminate the need for humans to put themselves behind the wheel in the first place. This may seem like an easy way out to the problem but I believe that it is the solution of the future. In just a couple of years we could be living in a world where it is the normal to see autonomous cars everywhere, so I think by adapting to future changes we will see a definite decrease in collisions caused by teen distracted drivers. As for now we need to continue our efforts to educate young students and makes sure these education programs are properly funded. Sources https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/19/technology/uber-driverless-fatality.html https://createrealimpact.com/how-to-enter/#infographics


As I thought deeper about the topic of distracted driving, I was actually at a loss of ideas. What more could we be possibly be doing to tell people that by doing this they could potentially kill themselves or someone else. How do these people watch the news and not see the names and the faces of the people who have lost their lives due to distracted driving or because of another persons ignorance. Thats when I realized that crashes caused by distracted driving will never end unless the role that humans play in driving is unnecessary. As these big technology companies keep growing so will the development of the self-driving cars and soon they will be on the road and when they are the need for humans attention for driving the number of collision could possible be at zero percent.