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NIE, Star Search winning column, on texting while driving: Deadly distraction. By Emily Caruso at Chancellor Middle School.
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DRIVING WHILE distracted happens more often than we think. Many things can be described as being a distraction. Are you distracted when you drive?
Texting while driving is against the law in Virginia. It is a secondary enforcement. If someone is pulled over for breaking a different law and the police find out that the driver was texting, charges will be pressed against the driver. Distracted driving causes accidents, injuries, and sometimes death.
Distracted driving is comparable to drunken driving. Both actions delay the reaction of the driver. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, using a cellphone while driving delays a driver's reaction as much as having a blood alcohol concentration of .08. I don't think it is safe for people to drive drunk. It is not legal for them to drive in that condition either, so why would it be legal to drive distracted since it is similar?
People who are involved in accidents are more likely to be injured, especially if that person is not expecting the impact. Each day, approximately 1,200 people are injured in car crashes when distracted drivers are involved. Sometimes injuries can be minute; however, some outcomes are violent, and possibly permanent.
When a driver takes his concentration off the road, he is distracted. There are three types of distractions; visual, manual, and cognitive. Visual is where the driver takes his eyes off of the road, manual distraction is when hands are taken off of the steering wheel, and a cognitive distraction is when the driver takes his mind off what he is doing.
Nobody wants to go to a loved one's funeral, especially if the cause of death is distracted driving--something that can be 100 percent prevented. Life is too short to end it that early. Every day more than 15 people are killed in car crashes due to a distracted driver. It is selfish for someone to get on a phone or text while on the road and for that person to think there is no negative outcome. In reality, being a distracted driver can kill other adults, grandparents, teenagers, children, infants in car seats, and even pets.