Technology Interlock

Leah M

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Leah Malone Technology Interlock We face an epidemic, one without borders and one without control. Its merciless grasp has little regard for the sacredness of human life. This force, ever encroaching onto society, is distracted driving. It stands as one of the biggest killers of today’s youth. Even a few seconds of distraction can lay the foundation for catastrophic vehicular events. It is our job as individuals to choose safer decisions while on the road and ultimately find a cure for this problem. The etiology of distracted and reckless driving can vary, an obnoxious radio, conversation with a passenger, or even simple fatigue may contribute to such situations. Most predominately, the cause of distraction is alcohol or technology related. The consumption of alcohol, even to a minimal degree, can greatly impair someone’s judgement and reaction time. Behind the wheel, this combination is often deadly. Moreover, cellphone usage while driving can serve as a cognitive impairment as the attention and field of vision of the driver is drawn away from the road. These perilous circumstances can be reduced; however, it will take a collective effort to achieve this: better driving education, great understanding of consequences, as well as self-awareness can help. While the greatest creation of reckless driving is often technology based, we have the ability to use technology to our advantage. We currently use built-in vehicular systems to make those at risk for reckless driving safer. After multiple instances of someone driving while inebriated, an ignition interlock may be installed into their car. This is a device that requires someone to take a breathalyzer test before they are able to star their car. The car can only start if the driver’s blood alcohol level is below the required limit. With Bluetooth and Wi-Fi enabled vehicular technology, we could easily apply the same concept to cellphones. Those who have repeatedly broken any laws regarding cellphone usage or demonstrated dangerously distracted driving could be sentenced to a technological ignition interlock. This system would connect to your phone, much like a breathalyzer. The automobile would be unable to start unless the cellphone was in “Airplane Mode.” This mode blocks all incoming or outgoing calls, texts, notifications, and website accessibility. This would significantly reduce someone’s ability to utilize their phone while driving. Advancements such as these could help reduce the causality rates of teens and adults around the world. While the innovations of the modern world have lent us tremendous abilities, they have also brought destruction and distraction. Through time and consideration, we can use the advantages of technology to reduce the dangers it can cause. The practical application of distraction reducing devices could provide relief for future commuters as it could reduce danger.