Driving Distractions and the Deadly Consequences
Operating a motor vehicle is one of the biggest privileges and rights of passage that teenagers have. However, with it comes great responsibility and great danger. The road is a place with many distractions and opportunities for great tragedy. Some of the more prevalent distractions involve talking on the phone, texting while driving and too many passengers in a vehicle.
Although talking on the phone while driving may not seem like a major distraction, it truly is. How many times has a vehicle been seen traveling way too slow or way too fast down a road, only to discover that it is because the driver is on a cell phone. Although a driver’s eyes are still focused on the road when they are talking on a cell phone, their mind is elsewhere. Due to the fact that a person’s mind is focusing on their conversation instead of their driving, the risk for accidents skyrockets.
An even more dangerous situation is text messaging while driving. This risky task is only becoming more popular with teenagers as time progresses. Many teens read text messages, type text messages and even send them all while operating a motor vehicle. It only takes a split second for a car to slam on its brakes or a child to run out in front of a car. Unfortunately, that split second could occur as a driver is looking down at his or her phone to read a text message. Texting while driving can affect the reaction time of a driver as well. A teenager’s reaction time is comparable to that of a 70-year-old if they choose to text message while driving. Many states have recognized this great danger and started taking measures to ban the use of electronic devices while driving.
Finally, having too many people occupy a vehicle can become a major distraction, especially for teenagers. Many times, a crowded car that is full of teens also incorporates loud music, a lack of seat belts and food. A combination of these prior activities causes a major distraction for the driver. If loud music is blasting, the driver may not be able to hear the surrounding traffic or warning horns from other vehicles. If too many people are crowded in a back seat, the driver will not be able to see out of his or her mirrors effectively. If two hands are on a burger and fries instead of the wheel, reaction times are greatly delayed. Although one of these factors may not pose a huge risk, the combination of them can be deadly.