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Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Guest Commentary

Guest Column: Put your phone away while you drive


Most people love their mobile devices, but they can distract us from driving — a crucial daily task. The use of mobile devices while driving can lead to serious injuries and create deadly consequences.

What can we do to help prevent this from happening?

We can warn all drivers to not use their mobile devices as they drive, and ask drivers not to allow passengers to use devices, either. Drivers should not take their eyes off the road, even for a few seconds, since it can cause an injury or death.

Ten percent of young drivers ages 15 to 19 were distracted while driving in reported fatal car accidents. Driving is already dangerous enough when you consider all the factors, including your inability to control or predict the actions of those around you.

Adding a cellphone to the mix is a recipe for disaster. Texting on your cellphone takes away the visual, manual and cognitive attention from the road. It is, by far, the most alarming distraction.

Help by being an example yourself and teach those around you that they should not ever text and drive because it can be dangerous. You should always be careful, but if it does become necessary to use a cellphone, the best thing to do is pull over to a safe place.

Texting and driving is dangerous and can kill, plain and simple. It can turn a harmless drive into a nightmare.

The best way to put a stop to texting and driving is to educate people about the dangers that can happen. Here are some facts that might help open your eyes from textinganddrivingsafety.com:

  • 80 percent of crashes involve a driver that was distracted for a few seconds.
  • 57 percent of Americans admit to texting behind the wheel, which is not good at all.
  • 74 percent of Americans admit of being distracted while driving.
  • 89 percent of Americans believe texting while driving should be outlawed.

The National Safety Council reports that cellphone use while driving leads to 1.6 million crashes each year.

The Department of Transportation is leading an effort to stop texting and driving. There have been several campaigns to raise awareness about this issue.

Texting and driving kills enough people to be taken seriously and be condemned, but drivers need to take initiative, too.

Guest columnist Elisabeth Saucedo is a broadcast journalism junior and can be reached at [email protected]

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