second place winner Carrin Black

About Ryleigh

Senior at East Limestone High School. She plans to pursue a degree in Nursing at the University of Alabama. She already completed 16 hours of clinical rotations toward her CNA and PCT at the Limestone County Technical Center prior to graduation.

Distracted Driving Essay

“Texting while driving has made a dangerous impact on society. It has caused many wrecks that could have been avoided if they would have just waited until they reached their destination to answer that text. Society needs to realize that the message just received or are about to send is not as important as losing their life or taking someone else’s. The simple solution is to just wait. Wait an extra few minutes to send or read the text. Focus on getting from point A to point B instead.

Texting while driving falls under the category of distracted driving. “A pedestrian is killed every two hours and injured every seven minutes somewhere in the U.S. due to distracted driving.” (Distracted driving – a public health epidemic (2022, January 11). Retrieved April 14, 2022) This statistic is outrageous. That is approximately 12 people dying every day due to a distracted driver. This could easily be improved. Instead of distracting oneself with not only texting, but also, fidgeting with something, eating, or even zoning out on the road. Drivers could all focus more on driving and these numbers would improve.

One way that society as a whole could prevent texting while driving is placing your phone out of sight and out of reach while you are driving. Try placing it in the console, a purse, or backpack. Apple Phones also have a new feature that automatically turns on do not disturb when your phone connects to your car’s Bluetooth. This feature could be a life saver; if your phone is in reach, it won’t be buzzing frequently with text alerts tempting you to check the messages. In newer Ford cars there is also this feature called Mykey. When Mykey is active it prevents the driver from accepting phone calls while driving. In many newer model cars in general there is also Carplay, which allows the driver to tap the message from the radio and it will read it out loud to you. The driver can also reply to a message by speaking out loud then send the message with voice command. Both features can help prevent people from grabbing their phones while driving.

Another way society could prevent distracted driving is by parents setting a good example and not using their phones while driving. Kids want to be just like their parents. Watching mom and dad on their phone while driving makes the children think that it is okay for them to do it as well. Adults should be held responsible for texting and driving as well. Kids tend to follow the lead of their parents because they want to be just like them. Parents need to set an example so that their kids do not make the same mistakes.

Most high school students take driver’s education in school. In most classes they showed videos of what happened to people who texted while driving. This to some could seem a little harsh, but to me, I think this approach works the best with younger people because it scares them. Sometimes scaring them is what you need to do to prevent them from making mistakes and bad choices. Sometimes the fear of what could happen will prevent the thoughts of doing it all together. Which, at the end of the day, is better than teenagers not fearing distracted driving, making a wrong choice, and getting into a wreck. Classrooms should continue to show these videos to help inform young people of the dangers of texting while driving. The teachers should encourage the use of the videos.

Lastly, a harsher way to get people to see the real dangers of texting and driving, is a public service announcement on tv. Commercials could possibly show a family at a funeral. This family would be mourning the death of a loved one who died in a wreck; the wreck was caused by someone texting and driving. The commercial would also include this, “On any given day, about 660,000 drivers are attempting to use their phones while driving behind the wheel.” (Samheidarilawgroup. 2022, February 4) These numbers are outrageous, the number of wrecks

that could happen daily because of texting while driving is too high and completely preventable. “According to the National Safety Council, texting and driving has led to 1.6 million crashes each year.” (Samheidarilawgroup. 2022, February 4) Over a million people die each year because of themselves texting and driving or someone else’s carelessness. This could easily be prevented if people would just wait to text. That message that you’re about to send could ruin someone’s life. Someone could die. Personally, if I was texting while driving and killed someone, I would never forgive myself. I would not be able to drive or send a message without thinking that I am the reason someone lost their son, daughter, mom or dad. “For every 100 drivers, 20 of them are distracted while driving.” (Samheidarilawgroup. 2022, February 4) These numbers could easily go down if we work as a community and all agree to stop texting while driving. Texting while driving is most common in young people. “Those between the ages of 20 to 29 years of age or more likely to text and drive.” (Samheidarilawgroup. 2022, February 4)

Now we know the dangers of texting and driving and some ways to prevent it in the future. Let’s, as a community, take this information, really let it soak in, and truly see that it’s not safe. I plan to keep my phone out of sight while I am driving. If the text is that important, I will use my Apple Carplay to read it to me out loud. Sending that text is not as important as focusing on the road and risking not only my life but everyone around me. I will wait until I reach my destination to help prevent this. If I see my friends or parents texting and driving, I will inform them of the dangers of it. It’s not worth taking someone’s life or your own to send a message that could wait five minutes. Please stop texting and driving the bad outweighs the good.”

Sources

Distracted driving – a public health epidemic. Together For Safer Roads. (2022, January 11). Retrieved April 14, 2022, from https://www.togetherforsaferroads.org/distracted- driving-a-public-health- epidemic/?gclid=Cj0KCQjwxtSSBhDYARIsAEn0thTZ9olozD_UPlzenMNOpQneP3ry20 eSKj7xt0IiJfQ8pUuGQApnbtUaAreSEALw_wcB

Samheidarilawgroup. (2022, February 4). How many people die from texting and driving? Heidari Law Group. Retrieved April 14, 2022, from https://www.heidarilawgroup.com/blog/how-many-people-die-from-texting-and-driving/