Distracted Driving

Kimia T

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Ding. Derek just got a text from his best friend. He is driving, so he is hesitant to pick up his phone, and even reminds himself of the consequences if he does. But he ignores his conscience and picks it up anyways. He is thrilled to hear that his friend is hosting a party, and types in his friend’s address into the GPS system. Finally, he looks at the road again. A man is screaming because the car is approaching him at 60 miles per hour. Derek is in shock; he just freezes, not knowing what to do. Boom! Derek can no longer see the man. He immediately gets out of the car and calls 911. Derek finds the man under his jeep, unresponsive. The man who was hit by a distracted driver; the man dressed in a black sweater and blue sweatpants; the man, who was on his way to pick up his daughter from karate class—was my dad. The ambulance came and escorted my dad to the hospital. All he could remember were the blinding lights of the car. He had lost his senses of smell and taste for life, due to a brain injury. Unfortunately, my father isn’t the only victim of careless driving. There are a lot of dangerous people, like Derek, driving around and needlessly harming or ending innocent people’s lives. A car in the hands of a distracted driver is a deadly weapon. Luckily, there are a few solutions that could prevent these type of accidents from occurring. In most vehicles, there are glove departments, so you could put your phone in the glove compartment and lock it. Then, when you are driving, you wouldn’t be able to open it and retain your phone. And if there is an emergency, you can easily pull to the side of the road, unlock the compartment and have access to your phone. The second solution to distracted driving is that before you start your car and drive, you can make a habit of putting your phone in “Do Not Disturb” mode, or turning it off completely. This will prevent you from checking your phone because you won’t receive any messages, calls, or notifications that will distract you. Another solution is that your phone is programmed to automatically send a message to that person saying that you are driving and cannot answer back. Though Derek never used these strategies, my dad never gave up hope. He prayed every night that his senses of smell and taste would return, despite what the doctor had told him. He had a positive attitude. Recently, my dad and I were home alone. I was in my bedroom and he was in his office, and he told me that it smelt like something was burning from the kitchen. And indeed it was! The funny thing is, I couldn’t smell it, but my dad could. If Derek had been able to rely on some of the strategies that I mentioned, my dad would not have had to rely on this miracle at all.