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Think Ahead While Behind The Wheel

889 words - 4 pages

In 2010, the lives of a Macon family changed forever. A time of family togetherness that started out as a celebration turned out to be anything but, proving that a split-second action can have lasting consequences. The family had gathered in Longview, Texas to celebrate the eightieth birthday of Jerry Dingmore’s mother. As everyone prepared to head back from the party, Dingmore’s son, Colton, requested that he ride with his uncle Jay. Dingmore agreed, and everyone started to drive back to Jerry’s mother’s house-Jerry in one car and Colton, Jay, and Jay’s wife Betty in another. Out on the highway, Jay and Betty’s car was hit by a distracted driver who answered a text behind the wheel and swerved into their lane of traffic. Betty and Colton survived with minimal injuries, but Jay was killed on impact. Now, the Dingmores are trying to spread awareness on an issue that has affected many people and can be prevented simply by using common sense.
Distracted driving is a prominent issue that continues to grow. Whether it is eating, using electronics, fixing hair or makeup, or adjusting the vehicle’s controls, it seems like everyone is guilty of taking his or her focus off the road at some point. How many times have we been enraged to see the driver next to or in front of us do something foolish such as cut people off or pay no attention to stoplights because they are engrossed in a telephone conversation? How many instances have we seen someone flying down the road performing a crazy task like reading a newspaper or eating a sandwich? On how many occasions have we done something like this?
The Department of Transportation released a report analyzing three different surveys and studies taken in 2011 and 2012. They found that, at any given time, 660,000 drivers are using cell phones or electronic devices while behind the wheel. Additionally, the report stated that while a vast majority of Americans support bans on both handheld cell phones (seventy-four percent) and texting (ninety-four percent), 3,300 were killed and 387,000 were injured in crashes involving distracted drivers. Over 6,000 drivers, ranging in age from sixteen and older, were interviewed about talking on the phone while driving for a national survey. Twenty-four percent of these people were willing to make a call while on a road trip, and forty-nine percent said they would answer a call while driving. This adds up to over one hundred-fifty million people in the United States who used a cell phone...

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