“According to Distraction.gov, an official U.S. government website, distracted driving occurs when an activity diverts a person’s attention away from the primary task of driving.”. (Tashea, ‘Textalyzer’). One major problem on every day roads of drivers is distracted driving. Distracted driving is when people are engaging in another activity besides driving. Some ways that the America could help eliminate distractive driving is creating an app, allow the vehicle to tell if the driver is on their phone, and raise the fine for distracted driving.
Different forms of distracted driving are eating food, putting on makeup, using technology, and having a conversation with the other passengers in the vehicle. According to the Transportation Research Part F: Traffic Psychology and Behaviour, “Drivers estimated to be 60 and older were least likely to be engaged in any secondary behavior, but drivers younger than 20 and drivers 20–59 years old were equally likely.”
In result of distracted driving many people have been killed. “The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that in 2009, motor vehicle crashes (MVC) killed 5474 (16%) people and injured 448,000 (20%) as a result of distracted driving.” (Overton, Tiffany L, et al.). This issue has been a problem for a long time, and because of this issue innocent people are getting hurt and even worse, killed.
Police officers are starting to use a program that allows them to check to see if the person that they pulled over was using their devices while they were driving. “This article originally appeared in the October 2016 issue of the ABA Journal with this headline: “Checking Texting: New York considers ‘textalyzer’ bill that allows police to learn whether drivers in crashes were texting behind the wheel.”” (Tashea, ‘Textalyzer’). This is not used all over the nation, but this bill is starting to pass throughout the nation to help prevent distractive driving.
A person distracting themselves while driving has a higher risk of getting into an accident that someone who is not driving with distractions. Texting and driving are a form of distracted driving that has seen an increase of accidents in America. “In 2016, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported 3,450 people died in distraction-affected crashes.” (“Distracted Driving”).
Teenage drivers have a higher risk of getting into an accident than people who are a lot more experienced at driving. “Teen drivers appear to be especially susceptible to distraction, with the NHTSA estimating that 16 percent of all drivers younger than 20 involved in fatal crashes were believed to be distracted — the highest proportion of any age group.” (Hosansky, ‘Distracted Driving’). Distracted driving is a major problem for people who are in their teenage years, because they are using their devices to check their social media or update their status and are not very experienced at driving. People who are older have more experience driving and know how to react to something faster than a teenager who has not had a whole lot of experience driving . “For example, Nebraska forbids young and inexperienced drivers (novice drivers) from using “any type of interactive wireless communication device while operating a motor vehicle.”” (State Laws). Teenagers have not had
Using Bluetooth or hands-free things are still classified as distractive driving when you are operating the vehicle. “The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) last year called for a ban on the use of both handheld and hands-free devices by drivers, contending that years of research had clearly demonstrated motorists could not use a cellphone and focus on the road at the same time.” (Hosansky, ‘Distracted Driving).
‘FleetSafer Vision’ was created to help see if people were using their mobile devices while driving. “On January 5, 2011, ZoomSafer unveiled a new, patent-pending software service, FleetSafer Vision, which will allow corporate fleet operators and risk managers to measure and manage employee use of mobile phones while driving, regardless of the type of phone used.” (Carducci, Alyssa). This allows people to manage the use of their employers using mobile devices while driving.
To help eliminate distracted driving, America should create an app that can tell where a person is in a vehicle. If a driver is tempted to be on their phone while driving, their phone will not receive any notifications. An automatic message will go out to the people contacting that person, saying that they are driving and will respond to them as soon as they get done driving.
In addition, vehicles should have a device or program in them so that it can tell if the driver is on their phone while driving. This would help prevent distracted driving accidents and crashes. The device or program that is installed in the vehicle could tell that a driver is using devices while driving, and it would keep a record of how many times the driver does this so when they get pulled over the police officer could see how many times the device or program marked that the driver was driving while using a mobile device. “Carmakers facilitate driver use of MCDs by offering telecommunication systems in new car models with internal voice-activated and voice-controlled e-mail, texting, and tweeting capabilities; Ford has put such devices in 2 million of the cars it manufactured since 2008.” (State Laws). Some technology has already been in the midst of creation, but it is only through Ford. Even though Bluetooth can be just as bad as talking on the physical device, it is a step in the right direction to helping prevent accidents caused by distracted driving.
Lastly, the national fine for distracted driving should be raised. That way people would not be tempted to want to drive distracted. “Every state has considered some form of legislation to restrict the use of cell phones—or to require the use of hands-free devices—while driving for some or all groups of drivers, and 37 states already have such legislation on the books.” (Bhargava, Saurabh).
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