Distracted driving

Zachary P

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Distracted driving affects many teens. According to Edgar Snyder, 94 percent of teen drivers acknowledge the dangers of texting and driving, but 35% admitted to doing it anyway. 21 percent of teen drivers involved in fatal accidents were distracted by their cell phones. Teen drivers are 4x more likely than adults to get into car crashes or near-crashes when talking or texting on a cell phone. A teen driver with only one additional passenger doubles the risk of getting into a fatal car accident. With two or more passengers, they are 5x as likely. Distracted driving in teens is one of the main causes of deaths in the U.S. Teens need to realize the danger they are taking with driving distracted. What can we do to lessen the likelihood of a teen driving distracted? First, I think we should stricten the laws on cell phone usage while driving. Make the first time offender take classes on how distracted driving affects other drivers. The classes should outline the effects of distracted driving not only on the offender, but also how it affects other drivers. The law should end up having the offender’s license revoked after the third offense in a 1 year period. For the second offense, the offender should have the license suspended for a 3 month period. Not only should the laws be more strict, but also Drivers ed should teach students more on the effects of distracted driving. Drivers ed should outline the dangers, the possible outcomes, and the punishments of distracted driving. Along with the punishments, they should show the students the punishments for vehicular homicide, average Insurance rate raising, and the average damage done in a distracted driving accident. Once students are informed they will be less likely to use their cell phone while driving. Instead they will use alternatives such as hands free calling, having someone else in the car use their cell phone for them, or putting their cell phone into the glove box until they reach their destination. Another form of distracted driving is passengers. This is easily avoidable by limiting the amount of people that are in the car with you. One other form is driving drowsy. If you feel drowsy, pull off the roadway. Do multitasking somewhere else instead of driving. Examples include doing makeup, calling friends, searching for music, even using your phone in general! It’s not needed. Get everything figured out before you get in the car, and if a time arises where you need to multitask, pull over! There is no shame in pulling over to make a phone call, or to text someone back. It could make the difference between life and death. I would say 90% of teens involved in distracted driving don’t realize: 1) depending on what they are doing will determine whether it is illegal 2) The possible outcomes of an accident could be fatal 3) The financial standpoint of an accident which is you are at fault and were distracted while driving can be a lot of money.