Distracted Driving

This summer I made the decision to travel across the country on a one-month road trip from Maryland to California and back. I graduated from college in May, and after having five simultaneous internships during my last semester, I knew it was time for a much needed break. Family members and friends were constantly asking me what my plan was for graduation, where I wanted to live after college, and what my job was going to be.

I’ve lived on the East Coast for my entire life. I always went to Delaware with my family for summer vacations, and never really traveled more than a few states away. I’ve visited grandparents in Wisconsin and Florida, and even went to Las Vegas twice. Visiting Las Vegas gave me a taste of what West Coast life is like, and I loved it. I found out that there was this whole other world out there that I had never seen.

When I went to apply for jobs, I had no idea where I wanted to go. I knew that I was willing to relocate, but I wanted to make sure that I was doing the proper research on all the places I had never been. I figured the best way to do this was to go on a cross country road trip, so I saved up every dollar I made and started packing.

After pushing back my departure date several times, I finally made it on the road the morning of June 25, 2019. There were a lot of steps in the planning process that made organizing the trip a bit harder than I thought it would be. I knew that the most important part of the trip was staying safe on the road.

Distracted Driving

The dangers of texting while driving

 Personally, I have never been one to text and drive. I’ve always kept my phone face down in the passenger seat while going on short trips, and also utilized the “Do Not Disturb While Driving” setting on my iPhone. Unfortunately, I have been in many cars where the driver has been texting. Usually I will do my best to persuade them to put down the phone. I’ll tag them in humorous memes and posts about the dangers of texting and driving, offer to do whatever it is they need for them, and even threaten to tell their parents. Sometimes it works, other times it doesn’t.

Texting and driving is not only irresponsible, it is dangerous to everyone on the road. Texting and driving is selfish, because you are not simply putting your own life at risk, but the lives of others as well. It is also against the law in most states. Some states do allow for hands-free cell phone usage, and others outright ban any texting whatsoever while driving. Distracted driving laws can lead to consequences for perpetrators such as tickets, jail time, license suspension, and more.

There is one facet of texting and driving that is rarely spoken about. It is the responsibility of others to not text a person when they know they are driving. If you know that someone is going to be operating a motor vehicle, resist the urge to text them. Texting a person that you know is driving and has a tendency to text and drive is like putting the drugs in the hands of an addict.

If you truly care about someone, never text them while they are on the road, and urge them to use the “Do Not Disturb While Driving” setting on their phone if possible. Imagine the guilt that you would feel if you were the one who personally sent a text that caused a fatal accident. Texting and driving isn’t something that is necessary, and accident cause by this are one hundred percent avoidable. Don’t put your loved ones at risk. Trust me, it can wait. I have already warned my friends and family that I will not be responding to any texts while driving, and not to freak out if I do not answer for a few hours.

Distracted Driving

Texting while driving stats

Texting and driving is a huge issue on the road in all states across America. In fact, 1 out of every 4 car accidents in the United States is caused by texting and driving. The dangers of texting while driving are extreme. Not only can it lead to fender benders, collisions, and crashes, it can also cause insurance rates to go up, cars to be totaled, and lives to be lost.

Texting isn’t the only activity that can be done on a cell phone that can cause a driver to get distracted. Distracted driving can also occur while picking a song on Apple Music, Spotify, or YouTube. It can happen while checking a score of a sports game, Snapchatting, or checking social media. Distracted driving accidents even have occurred while people are taking photos.

Driver facts and safety

Distracted Driving

Everyone likes to think they are a pro at driving, but taking your eyes off the road for just one second can be the difference between life and death. According to a study done by the CDC in 2016, 3,500 people died of fatal car accidents involving distracted driving. Driver safety is key when operating a motor vehicle, and especially when going on a long distance road trip

Even with Bluetooth and hands-free technology, driver and passenger safety is put at risk when anyone on the road is using their phones. With the development of “self-driving” and “auto-pilot” cars, we will hopefully see a decrease in distracted driving related accidents in the future. In the meantime, remember to always fasten your seatbelt, avoid texting or using the phone while driving, and to never, ever drink and drive.    



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