Don’t Look Now But You’re About to be Rear-ended!
I don’t know about you, but I don’t usually feel scared about getting in the car and driving anywhere, whether it be across country or across town. Now that I’ve researched this article I find I’ll be avoiding all drivers who appear to be texting or talking on their hand-held phones, whether teens or adults. Apparently we’re all guilty of distracted driving.
Distracted driving is any activity that could divert a person’s attention away from the primary task of driving. All distractions endanger the driver, the passenger, and bystander safety. These types of distractions include testing, eating, drinking, talking to passengers, grooming, reading, using navigation or maps, watching a video, switching stations on a radio, etc. Because text messaging requires visual and manual attention from the driver, it is by far the most alarming distraction.
When teen drivers hit the roads they don’t always know what to do and that lack of experience ends up causing car accidents. More than 3,000 teens die each year in crashes caused by driving while texting. Most teens admit to texting while driving and statistics show drivers are 23 times more likely to be in an accident if they are texting while driving. While surveys show distracted driving is becoming more socially unacceptable among teens, these young drivers continue to text while driving, especially when they are alone. Although studies of 2,000 young drivers show that 71 percent said reading and receiving texts and emails is unacceptable while driving, 45 percent admit to doing it. So many admit to sending and answering texts while alone, and the same amount admit to doing so with parents and friends aboard. When questioned further, teens admitted to posting on social media sites while behind the wheel. This is really scary to think about. It makes me want to go out of my way to avoid driving around young people.
Of adults who text and drive, one in 10 drivers had their attention diverted by texting, calling or fumbling with their phones, which represents a 40% increase from last year. . Not all phone use is easily visible, and the growth in phone usage showcases the growing boldness of motorists and the priority of mobile communication; drivers emailing, texting and making calls while traveling on the country’s most traffic-clogged roadways.
People are addicted to the ping of a text coming in. It makes it difficult to put down the phone. Social media and addiction to social media is now prevalent among adults as well as teens. Most people don’t seem to think they’ll get caught and the same egocentric attitude abounds when thinking of getting into or creating an accident due to texting or posting on Facebook.
In California it was estimated that between 300 and 400 people die each year in accidents caused by a driver’s attention being compromised by a phone. Even amid the well-publicized dangers of phone usage, many drivers carve out specific times on their commute to glance at the phone. I occasionally texts while I’m stopped at a red lights, yet no one says I won’t be rear-ended by some other driver who doesn’t even see the red light occurring.
The tendency to text in places that feel safer might explain why suburbs have the highest rate of distracted driving. Long red lights and quiet roads with low speed limits were two places some drivers said they would be more likely to risk a text. Phones aren’t the only gadget that can intrude on a driver’s awareness. In-dash entertainment systems that allow for navigation, hands-free calls and voice-to-text messaging can be just as distracting. Car manufacturers are increasingly outfitting vehicles with such technologies, another potential drain on attention. Still newer technologies may prove the best solution to ending phone-induced distractions on the roads.
In my research, texting doesn’t seem to be the dominant phone activity that causes dangerous situations or slows down traffic on the freeway. Professionals talk on their phones, while younger people tend to scroll through Facebook or Instagram feeds from behind the wheel. One phone function seems to overshadow all the others, and it pops onto the screens of drivers from varying age groups: GPS. Everyone is using GPS, whether built-in or hand held or stuck to the windshield. It’s as dangerous and any other form of distracted driving.
The best way to end distracted driving is to educate all Americans about the danger it poses. Here are some facts that will persuade you to view distracted driving and educating other people as crucial. Please share these facts and statistics with others. You may save a life.
In 2013, 3,154 people were killed in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers. This represents a 7% decrease in the number of fatalities in 2012. But 424,000 people were injured, which is an increase of 1000 people from the year before.
As of December, 2013, 153 billion test messages were sent in the U.S. every single month. Drivers in their 20’s make up a third of all distracted drivers involved in fatal crashes. This group represents the largest proportion of drivers who had distracted driver accidents. At any daylight moment across the U.S., more than half a million drivers are using cell phones or electronic devices while driving. Engaging in visual-manual tasks associated with hand-held phones or other portable devices increase the rist of getting into a crash by three times.
Five seconds is the average time your eyes are off the road while texting. When traveling at a rate of 55 mph, that’s enough time to cover the length of a football field while blindfolded.
In my research, texting doesn’t seem to be the dominant phone activity that causes dangerous situations or slows down traffic on the freeway. Professionals talk on their phones, while younger people tend to scroll through Facebook or Instagram feeds from behind the wheel. One phone function seems to overshadow all the others, and it pops onto the screens of drivers from varying age groups- GPS. Everyone is using GPS, whether built-in or hand held or stuck to the windshield. It’s as dangerous and any other form of distracted driving.
It’s really your choice. Do you turn off your phone or put it on vibrate to lower the temptation to pick it up and be a distracted driver? How important is that text? You might miss the gossip or the piece of information that could cause your death or the death of another driver or pedestrian. Is it really worth It?