The dangers of distracted driving

According to The New York Times 2,600 deaths are caused every year by car accidents as the result of distracted driving. That’s not just 2,600 accidents, that’s 2,600 people losing their lives. Cell phones, radios, and ipods create huge distractions for drivers and distracted drivers pose a threat to other drivers.

The facts are plain and simple, more accidents are caused by distracted drivers than drivers focusing on the road. With that being true a surprisingly low amount of states have passed legislation prohibiting talking on cell phone while driving or operating other hand held devices. While 30 states ban novice drivers from using a  cell phone while driving, only 9 states prohibit experienced drivers. According to CNN, at any given moment, 1 in 20 drivers are talking on a cell phone while driving. That’s 1 in 20 people focusing on other things and becoming a danger to drivers around them.

The main issue is that drivers don’t understand just how much sending a simple text message can distract them from what they’re doing. They don’t understand the effect their actions can have on other people’s lives.

So how do we fix the problem? Programs, websites, and organizations are popping up all over the nation to raise awareness of the issue. Distration.gov is one website speaking out against texting while driving. Even local television channel The Dayton CW is trying to raise awareness through their wait2txt program.

The problem isn’t going to fix itself. New drivers need to be taught early on the dangers of texting while driving and how they are not only risking their own lives but the lives of total strangers.

Don’t text and drive.

– Lee LeBoeuf

leboeuf.lee@oakwoodschools.org

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