Teens react to driving concerns
According to an article published by DriversEd.com, driving is a privilege and not a right. Driving has allowed people to travel longer distances more efficiently and in comfort. However traffic violators abuse their driving privilege, endangering motorists and pedestrians around them across the globe.
Distracting driving is problematic on the streets, putting people’s lives on the line. In 2015 alone 3,477 people died from distracted driving, according to nhtsa.gov. The Department of Motor Vehicles states that everyday nine people are killed and 1,000 people are injured in the United States alone. 88% of people on the road feel threatened when they see others on their phone as they drive, yet 67% continue to use their cell phones anyways.
Student at Fresno State and FC alumnus, Amrit Paul Singh Gill, ’17, is a three-year driving veteran and explains his thoughts about distracted driving.
“I do feel threatened,” Gill said. “When I see someone driving around me and see that they are on their phone or they are eating and driving, I start to drive cautiously around them yet I normally do use my phone when I’m driving to reply to texts, missed phone calls and to change my music. I know distracted driving is a really serious thing but once you’re in the vehicle it doesn’t seem like it is a big deal.
“I personally am trying to get better at not looking at my phone when driving what it is a really big temptation most of the time,” Gill continued. “I know I can turn off my phone and drive but I don’t want to do that because something serious might happen and I need to reply quickly. So I completely understand it’s a really big deal and all but I do think if you are on your phone for a quick second or just taking a quick bit then it should be fine. I do advise people to do this stuff on a red light so it’s safer then doing it while your vehicle is moving.”
Using a cellphone while driving can have serious consequences. The DMV states that in 2014 alone, 26% of the car accidents in the United States involved a cellphone. They state that texting while driving is especially dangerous as the action takes your eyes off the road and your hands off the steering wheel, therefore removing your focus from safe driving.
Rick Quesada is a peace officer at Valley State Prison in Chowchilla and talks about his thoughts on distracted driving.
“Distracted driving has become a big issue with the advent of the smartphone,” Quesada said. “The ages I believe distracted driving effects the most is from 16 years old all the way up until your forties. With my kids, I will inform them of the laws and show them the visual consequences. In addition, I will provide them with the latest technology so that there will not be a need to handle a phone while driving.”
Besides using a phone, there are many other ways people might become distracted when they drive. Communicating with people in your vehicle, eating, drinking and trying to find a good song are all classified as distracted driving according to nhtsa.gov and can lead to crashes. If the driver is not 100% focused on driving and is doing other tasks that will lead them to look away from the road, it can cause a potential accident.
Angel Ruelas, ’20, is a non-driving student. Ruelas talks about the issue of distracting driving from a passenger’s view.
“I see it every time I’m on the road,” Ruelas said. “It’s so common that when I see it I just don’t even mind. You see people on their cell phone normally everyday you get on the road. As a passenger I can’t control the car so if someone that is texting and driving or doing whatever then I can’t do anything to prevent the crash. I do think if it’s really important then it’s okay, but only when your cars at a full stop or pull over to the side of the road.”
Geico.com offers some applicable tips to refrain from becoming a victim of distracted driving. Limiting the number of people in your vehicle and the level of activity can dramatically help the driver’s concentration. Distracted driving is a big issue in society today, so take the necessary precautions to stay safe on the road.
For more related articles, read Distracted driving month reveals new statistics, warns drivers and Students anticipate, recall written drivers test.@thefeather, Instagram @thefeatheronline and Facebook @thefeatheronline.
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