Distracting Driving Is Not Cool

Tamiera c

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Driving will always require your full attention. Texting and driving has been the most common cause in car crashes and deaths in America. Texting while driving is the most common, but that does not exclude the fact that there are many other ways people will be distracted in the car, leading to tragedies. No matter if it’s talking or drinking. “The United States Department of Transportation reported the cell phones are involved in a “whopping 1.6 million auto crashes each year, causing half a million injuries and prompting 6,000 deaths annually. Texting while driving is even more dangerous than driving while under the influence of alcohol” Although we are very social people, talking should not be on our radar while driving. An example that I have experienced is my mom talking while driving and an ambulance was coming. She wasn’t focused enough to know where it was coming from, but she didn’t get out of the way of the ambulance because she was only focused on what was in front of her and the conversation that was happening seems like it’s an easy task that does not require a lot of brain concentration, but believe it or not, it does. Our brain, according to psychological studies, is not designed to process many tasks at once. When we are driving we should be focused on safe driving and not breaking any of the traffic rules. Cases resulting in minor crashes were most likely due to a quick look- away to grab something or to talk to someone.   The environment that people grow up in can influence what they do or don’t do while driving. Take for instance, if a 16 year old sees someone they grow up with texting on their phone they are likely to do it when they have their own car. It could be a chain of disaster. I think we can prevent this is by having a federal law set in stone that requires citizens to put their phones down while they drive in every state. This makes people be more aware of their surroundings while driving. Currently in Minnesota we have a “hands-free” law that has been really effective. This has made people think twice about talking while driving and putting down their phones. I have experienced my mom talking while driving and an ambulance was coming, but she wasn’t focused enough to notice where it was coming from. The ambulance was coming our way and she wasn’t able to get out of the way because she was only focused on what was in front of her and the conversation that was happening. There are times when you’re driving and you have to make quick decisions and unfortunately that can’t happen if you are texting or talking on the phone. Ever since the law has been passed here she is always reminded to not have her phone in her hand. She is now more alert and responsive.  Multitasking is not an option while driving. It has been proven that we as humans can’t react fast enough to other things while doing something that takes more attention from our brains. No matter how focused you think you are, anything can happen in a split second and being distracted by your phone could be a matter of life or death. Mandating a federal “hands-free’ law across all states would minimize  the numbers of deaths and crashes recorded yearly. The law will enforce people protecting people. Changing the law would be half the battle with distracted driving, but it takes us to keep eachother safe and accountable.