Kaneland Krier

Dangers of the road

Photo by Ashley Manzo

Photo by Ashley Manzo

By: Ashley Manzo, Editor

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   Try and think back to those nine grueling months when you had your permit and you could only drive with an adult in the car. It definitely was not a very memorable experience for me, which is why finally getting my license felt so amazing. Driving around on my own is an incredible feeling of freedom. But, just because I am not being supervised while driving does not mean that I can get too comfortable behind the wheel, making careless driving decisions that can easily get me in a car accident. An easy way to stay safe while driving is avoiding any distractions that keep the main focus off of the road. Safe driving should always remain a priority and it is important that teenagers understand that.

     Driving while distracted puts myself and others on the road at risk. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the leading cause of deaths among teenagers in the U.S. are car accidents. The only way to prevent this is by staying focused every time I get behind the wheel.

     It can get challenging to always remain focused while driving. I have found it hard not to glance down at my phone while at a stop light or when I am on an empty road. However, no single text is worth being distracted or getting in an accident. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that on average, a person takes around five seconds to read a text on their phone while they are driving. If the driver is going 55 mph, that is the same time span as driving blindfolded across an entire football field. A driver would not knowingly drive blindfolded for this long, so why do they think that texting and driving is in any way ok?

     Not just texting, but any distraction worsens my ability to focus while driving. It is scientifically proven that humans cannot handle distractions while driving. Based off of American Safety Council, the brain is not able to multitask. “Multitasking” is just my brain switching back and forth from one task to another. If I am doing anything in the car that is distracting me, I am thinking of that task, and I am not fully concentrating on the road.

     A problem with distracted driving is that many young drivers do not understand the risks they are taking when they are distracted. They may think that they can get away with it, or that they can handle a distraction. But, they cannot. Driving is a huge responsibility, and should be taken seriously.

     Eliminating distractions while driving keeps young drivers safer, especially with students driving to and from school every day. Being a high school student, I already have enough to worry about, with school, sports and clubs. The last thing I want is raised car insurance or car repair fees. Keeping my phone out of arm’s reach, turning the music volume down or limiting my car passengers are all easy ways to prevent distractions. These small changes can go a long way and create a safer driving environment. So, for the next two weeks, I challenge you to resist any distractions while driving, because in the end, no distraction is more important than yours or someone else’s life.

 

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Dangers of the road