Distracted Driving? We Don’t Know Her

Alyssa D

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Driving, you either love it or hate it. When driving you must be focused. Which is what gives people trouble. Driving has become a reckless activity. Whether it be because of technology, or another factor, it’s a large problem in the world. According to the CDC, approximately 3,500 people die per year due to distracted driving. That’s nine lives claimed per day.  The most common distraction to a driver is their cell-phone.We live in a society where phone use is frequent. However there is a time and place to use your phone, and that’s not while driving. While texting, drivers pay attention to the conversation on the phone, which is responsible for an ample amount of deaths. While there have been plenty of laws put into place to stop texting while driving, not everyone abides by them. We can’t be in every car holding driver’s hands saying, “Don’t use your phone.” Instead we go off of the honor system. If you get caught, there are fines to pay. How do we collectively put an end to this crisis? First we must decide that life is greater than responding to a text. Put your phone on, do not disturb, or place it out of sight so there’s no temptation. While this is a distraction it’s not the only one drivers face.  Have you ever seen a dog sticking its head out of a neighboring car’s window? Pets can also be a distraction. I’m not saying that you can’t have your pet in the car, but that there is an opportunity for them to cause a wreck. Most dogs are trained, but you must remember they’re living creatures with minds of their own. What happens when your dog jumps in your lap? You’re going to run into the car in front of you. Driving with a pet means taking precautions to make sure you’re keeping yourself, and others safe. There are car safety gadgets sold for pets, such pet seat-belts to keep your companions safe. This isn’t the only thing we need to work on.  Another reason for distracted driving is adjusting music and GPS systems. Paying attention to what station you’re on, can cause some problems. You need to think to yourself, “Do I really need to change the station?”And as for GPS systems, you should enter your destination before putting the car in drive. For paying attention to the wrong thing leads to wrecks. Car manufacturers have created voice commands, available in newer cars. Choose the safer option. Another distraction for drivers are passengers. Whoever is in the car, drivers can be distracted by them. Say you’re jamming out to a song with a friend, and get into a wreck. Distracted driving is no joke. Especially when you have others in the car. You’re responsible for any harm that comes to them. It’s up to you to block out distractions. Ask passengers to practice safety precautions, such as sitting upright with their seat belt on. If you know someone won’t take the proper precautions, don’t put yourself in a bad position.  Finally, zoning out is a dangerous form of distracted driving. If you’re fatigued, you shouldn’t be on the road. You shouldn’t drive if you have reason to believe that you’ll fall asleep or zone out, as you’ll be putting yourself, and others in danger. Distracted driving isn’t worth the heartache of death. Think rationally, choose what will protect lives.  We now know the most common forms of distracted driving. When driving, value life. Not just yours but others too. We’re the reason for this problem, therefore we should fix it.