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The Dangers of Texting While Driving


Distracted driving is a very serious issue across The United States and around the world. Many teens hear the same old talking points about how they shouldn’t text and drive while taking online drivers education courses. However, I and many of my friends have felt that the message is not as strongly conveyed as it should be. Just driving around my town in the area close to my school, I see classmates and upperclassmen looking down and sitting at a green light, only to realize minutes later that they can proceed through the intersection. It’s not hard to see the day to day examples of people, especially teenagers, putting their lives and the lives of other drivers around them in danger.

                                                     

In this modern era, social interaction among youth is online and constant. Whether it be replying to text messages, checking notifications about someone commenting on Instagram, or googling something; it is dangerous to use cellphones at any point while driving. And many teens admit to this, “94% of teens acknowledge that texting while driving is dangerous”(https://www.teensafe.com/blog/teens-texting-and-driving-facts-and-statistics/). At my school we have annual assemblies warning about the dangers of drunk driving and almost all teens thoroughly understand that driving under the influence leads to serious actions.

But many teens don’t comprehend that the serious consequences of texting while driving. “What’s the worst that could happen,” some think, “a 1% chance that I get a little rear ended.”

 

But heavy machinery like automobiles, need the operators full attention whether that be going 65 mph on the highway or 20 mph through a 4 way stop intersection. The statistic that “11 teens die everyday as a result of texting while driving,”(https://www.teensafe.com/blog/teens-texting-and-driving-facts-and-statistics/) shocked me and my fellow classmates at first. And it puts the issue of distracted driving due to texting in full and conscious perspective.

How often do you notice another driver on the road texting or operating their cell phone?

Never
1-5 times a month
at least 2 times a week
at least once every other day or so
at least once every day
Created with PollMaker

The above poll is intended to make yourself conscious of how frequent your life is put in danger by complete strangers around you.

And interesting data from 2009, showcases that distracted driving due to operating a hand held device is more widespread than one might think:

26% of teens aged 16-17 surveyed admitted to have texted while driving and 64% of them admitted to being in a vehicle with a driver who was texting.

The average resting heart rate for men and women can vary between 60-100 beats per minute. With research suggesting that attentive drivers average around 90 beats per minute when measured and tested in driving simulators. The track I created is 80 beats per minute to signify a driver who is distracted and not at full attentiveness. My goal of the track was to convey the story line of a driver receiving text messages and phone calls. At certain parts in the song notes ring into each other created a sound almost like screeching tires or loud honking. The tone of the song almost reflects a sort of daydream where the driver is in the digital world of the cell phone, not paying attention to reality and the road in front. The song ends with an unanswered phone call where the phone has been disconnected. I tried to communicate the seriousness of maybe the phone getting destroyed in the crash alongside the possible implications that could have on the state of the driver. I encourage you to listen to the song a couple times through the end and try to play over a possible scenario in your head of a distracted driver either based on personal experience or scenes you might have watched in a movie.

And I also encourage you guys to take the pledge to never drive distracted through the It Can Wait movement: https://www.itcanwait.com/pledge

And I will be working with my school’s Peer Support and Health counselor to be setting up a booth where students can take the pledge in person next year at my school’s Student Health week.

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COMMENTS: 12
  1. April 26, 2018 by Amalia.K Reply

    Texting while driving gets in my opinion worse and worse. It was really interesting for me to see how many people are on their phones while driving and I realized that I see at least one person every day that is on the phone while driving. I loved your presentation and the graphs helped to understand how important it is to stay away form the phone while driving.

  2. April 27, 2018 by brendan.gill Reply

    I hope your outreach next year at the Student Health Week is productive and provides a positive influence on people in your community to reduce or eliminate this dangerous habit.

  3. April 27, 2018 by brice berger Reply

    I think this is an interesting and important way to bring attention to texting while driving issues because sometimes when we just talk about it for most people it goes in one ear and out the other. Nice job!

  4. April 27, 2018 by Alexander.Pennacchio Reply

    As an up and coming driver (I turn 16 soon), this post really resonated with me. Having just taken my drivers education, I realize that maybe I could have been educated more about this issue rather than the standard “Don’t text/drink and drive” which really doesn’t illustrate the true consequences of distracting driving. Great post, this helps bring awareness to this issue we are impacted by every day but may not notice until it is too late.

  5. April 27, 2018 by Zachary.Schroeder Reply

    Great job on this page. I was really interested the whole time, especially during the song you made to simulate what driving with your phone near you is like. It was extremely distracting having the continuous notification noises over the calming song. You did great on the production of that. It seems like you are doing valuable work at your school to try to help this cause. Keep it up!

  6. April 28, 2018 by Elim Reply

    Holy crap! Such a crazy creative way to raise awareness of the dangers of distracted driving. The audio story!!

  7. April 28, 2018 by Sarah P Reply

    Hi! Awesome work. I thought your project was on a really important topic and also included lots of helpful information like the detailed photo of the car. You utilized a lot of good visuals and also advocated for a call to action in the form of a pledge. Really important project and really well done as you went into consequences and advocated for change.

  8. April 28, 2018 by Mila Tewell Reply

    This is an excellent project, well research and creatively executed. I certainly hope your recording continue to find a broad audience, to thoughtfully convey this critical message. Well done!

  9. April 28, 2018 by Coley Goren Reply

    As someone who has texted while drove, I really appreciate this project and how creatively it was conveyed. The message at the end of your soundtrack was really powerful. I am definitely going to take that pledge! Thanks again.

  10. April 28, 2018 by Sophie W Reply

    This is so well-done! I always think about how I’m being as careful as I can be when I get behind the wheel, but I never considered the aspect of understanding that every other driver might not be thinking the same things as me. I also plan to sign the pledge as a constant reminder to be aware of my actions when I’m driving. Thanks for shining some light on this topic!

  11. April 29, 2018 by Anne.Ballard Reply

    This is such a powerful project! I see people everyday, some of my friends too, who text while they drive. I think it’s important to emphasize that not only is texting while driving dangerous, but also looking at snapchat and other social medias. GREAT job!

  12. May 01, 2018 by Hyunsuh.Kim Reply

    Wow, this is a very creative music project! This is certainly a very important issue, and yet fixable once we become more aware about it.

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