Distracted Driving: Hand It Over Or Pull It Over

1316 words - 5 pages

“I’ll just die if I don’t have the new iPod” or “Everyone else has a smart phone” are the kind of statements teenagers have used on parents. This is not a new concept for children; parents everywhere have engaged in this type of battle with their children for ages. Parents, trying to give their children a better life than they had, usually indulge them. Are we really doing what is best or should we think before we please? The time comes for a teenager to get their driving permit. This is a rite of passage that comes with age. Parents spend hours instructing their teens on how to park, watch the speed, how to make a turn properly, and to watch the road. The time arises when one must let the child go with the keys. Mothers and fathers have given the speech on drunk driving and carefully instructed them to be home on time. Is this enough or has a new type of distraction been overlooked? A few hours after the teen leaves, the phone rings. It’s is the police on the other end of the line; “Excuse I am afraid your teen has been in a serious accident.” The child’s parents hurry to the hospital, but it is too late. The officer informs them that their child was texting and hit another car head on. The entire occupants of the vehicle were seriously injured and none were expected to survive. Think this is a one of a kind event? If so you are wrong. This is not only a scene for texting while driving, this can also happen when the driver becomes distracted with iPods (Intelligent Portable over Device), GPS (Global Position system), and similar hand held devices. The act of driving has so many elements the driver needs to focus on without the adding the use of an electronic device to the task.
Society needs to educate the public about the risks of distracted driving. “Behavioral studies have shown that engaging in a secondary task, such as talking on a cellular telephone or typing direction into a GPS can disrupt driver performance” (Just 70). These studies are not limited to only teens, but also include adults as well. Distracted driving is not an age specific problem. This problem can range from teens to senior citizens. Adults are just as likely as teens to have texted while driving and are significantly more likely to have talked on the phone while driving. The re¬sults in this report are based on data from telephone interviews conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International between April 29 and May 30, 2010, among a sample of 2,252 adults, age eighteen and older. “Nearly half (47%) of all texting adults say they have sent or read a text message while driving” (Madden). Many cellphone owners take advantage of the technology by performing several kinds of tasks in many types of places, including in the car and while walking. Two places where attention should be paid to the fullest. Madden also explains, “That compares to one in three (34%) texting teens ages 16-17 who said they had texted while driving in a September 2009 survey.” This...

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