Distracted driving endangers lives

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By Marcus Camacho

With plenty of drivers on the road, driving is already dangerous, but when a distracted driver is texting or talking on the phone, driving becomes a high risk, life-threatening situation.

Replying to texts or notifications from social media and making calls while driving is dangerous.

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI) reported that text-messaging creates a crash risk 23 times worse compared to driving while not distracted.

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration reported 44 states banned text messaging for all drivers as of January 2015.

Even though the use of a mobile device is illegal, many drivers still decide to use their phones thinking they can get        away with it.

Drivers might get away with it every once in a while, but eventually something bad will happen.

The fine for a first-time offender of getting caught handling cellular device is $100, but to make drivers follow the rule fines should be higher.

If drivers had to pay $150 or  more on the first offense, they might reconsider picking up their phones in the car.

The VTTI reported that the average time driver’s eyes are off the road while texting is five seconds.

When traveling at 55 mph, five seconds is enough time to cover the length of a football field.

Drivers who think, “I will just send this text real quick,” should consider putting of that text until after they’re done driving.

According to the National Safety Council, 24 percent of all car crashes involve cell phone conversations.

The California Traffic Safety Survey reported that more than 50 percent of Californians who were surveyed said that                           texting while driving is the most serious distraction for drivers  in 2014.

Drivers should realize that no text or call is important or worth the lives of others.

If the call or text is important,   then the driver should pull over safely and answer it. There is no point in putting everyone else in danger for a text or call.

One second is all it takes for an accident to happen. Drivers should keep their eyes on the road.

Near the S4 parking structure, a driver turned and hit the delineator post that separated both lanes.

He stopped at the exit and as I walked up to the front of the car, I could see he was on his phone.

What if, instead of the delineator post, he hit a person or a car? He could have seriously injured himself and others.

Not all distractions cause accidents, but they can cause a driver to make mistakes that can be fatal.

The California Traffic Safety Survey reported that nearly 53 percent of drivers admitted to making a driving mistake while talking on a cell phone in 2014.

Some drivers will say that they have a hands-free headset so they’re not distracted, but in reality those can still be dangerous.

The use of a hands-free headset is like listening to music with earphones on. They both take up your hearing. Drivers need to listen as well as see what is going on around them.

The use of social media is even worse while driving.

State Farm Insurance asked drivers if they go online while driving and they found that the percentage nearly doubled from 2009 to 2013.

In 2009, 13 percent admitted to going online while in 2013 it was 24 percent. Drivers between the ages 18-29 rose from 29 percent to 49 percent.

The Transportation Research Laboratory and the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) reported that driver’s’ reaction time was slowed down by 38 percent when using their phone to go on sites such as Twitter and Facebook.

There is no tweet or Facebook post interesting enough to make a driver lose his or her focus.

Distraction.gov is a website that is funded by the government to provide resources and prevention tips to drivers who text while driving.

Drivers who risk others lives just to text or make a call shouldn’t be given licences.

For more tips on preventing texting and driving visit stoptextsstopwrecks.org.


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