Distracted Driving Essay
Distracted Driving is a selfish and very dangerous way to drive. Over 3,000 people each year are killed due to either driving distracted or being hit by someone who is distracted. There are many types of distracted driving and all are equally as dangerous. Examples of distracted driving include texting, eating, talking to a passenger, adjusting a radio or iPod, and anything involving your phone or a gps. Any kind of distracted driving is a bad idea and can end in serious injuries or fatalities. Distracted driving has numerous definitions. Whether it be eating, drowsy driving, using your phone, talking to a friend, or being distracted by something on the side of the road, they are all very dangerous and can end with someone using their life. Many people believe that they may be a good driver even when being distracted by other things but it is usually not the case. Even if you get away with driving distracted, it wont always be that way, and you never know when your luck will run out.
As good as you may be at multitasking while driving it is never a good idea. If the thing is that important you should pull to the side of the road or wait until you get to your destination to do what you need to do. Texting and driving is one of the highest causes of crashes and fatalities. One of the groups that is most at risk is teens 16-20. This age group is not only new and inexperienced drivers but they are also very distracted by cell phones and music. When you are texting and driving the minimal amount of time that your attention is taken by your phone is 5 seconds. This not only puts you in danger but it also puts others on the road in a lot of danger as well. As important as receiving or sending a text may be, it can wait long enough to keep your life, and others, safe.
If it is too tempting for you to use your phone or iPod while you are driving there are many ways you can combat this urge. All you need to do is throw your phone in the backseat or in the glove compartment and your urge is gone. You can also put your phone on silent or turn it off if the vibration or sounds of receiving texts distracts you. Any of these quick alternatives is a great idea to save your life as well as others on the road with you. Talking to a passenger or on your phone is a dangerous distraction as well.
If you are on your phone, you may think that your attention is on the road but your attention is drawn away and focused on your call. Even if you use a hands-free device you still have a large amount of your attention drawn away. Talking to a passenger in your car can be more dangerous because they are able to distract you and interact with you more. This can be helpful if they are alerting you of obstacles but if they are being distractive it can be a large distraction. If they are posing a bigger distraction than a help then you should let them know that you are distracting you from the road. Although it may offend or anger them, it can pay off in the long run.
Another minor way of being of distracted is things in your eyesight. Someone running alongside the road, something happening ahead of you or to the side, and anything that will take your attention is a distraction. Things like this can seem minor but they can impair your attention. Although you don’t want to tune these things out of your attention, because they can cause accidents, you need to not only be aware of these things but not let them distract you to a point where you cant notice what is going on around you. There are 3 main types of distracted driving; cognitive, visual and manual. Cognitive distractions are when you mind isn’t focused on driving. These can include talking to someone in your car and just daydreaming. Even listening to music can take your mind off driving and distract you.
This may seem like a minor distraction but it can be very large. A visual distraction is anything that involves the driver taking his or her eyes off the road. This is common in all age groups; adults will check their kid’s seatbelts and almost everyone will use a GPS, iPod, phone or dvd player. All of these things that involve you taking your eyes off the road are considered a visual distraction. The last type of distraction is manual. A manual distraction is when you take one or both hands off the wheel for any reason at anytime while driving. A manual distraction can include eating or drinking, adjusting a GPS or iPod, reaching for something, or even adjusting your seat. One of the reasons that texting ids one of the most dangerous thing you can do while driving is because it involves all 3 types of distracted driving.
There are many ways that you can avoid using any of these types of distracted driving. The first way to avoid these three is to turn off your phone, even if you are expecting an important call. Another tip is to get a hands-free device if you really need to. This is not a great idea to use because it is just as dangerous as using the phone itself. Also, if you are driving with kids and/or pets make sure they are strapped in and secured so that they don’t pose a distraction while they are driving. If you need to eat or drink, finish it before you start driving, or wait until after. The last is, if you use a gps, program it before you start driving. All of these reasons are great examples to stop driving distracted. Driving while distracted is elfish and cost you, and others their lives. It’s a simple choice, just wait to start or finish your task.
http://www.distraction.gov/content/get-the-facts/facts-and-statistics.html http://www.textinganddrivingsafety.com/texting-and-driving-stats/ http://www.esurance.com/safety/3-types-of-distracted-driving