Youth Forward Scholarship 2019 – Social Reform of Distracted Driving

Name: Kendyl Guzman
From: Evansville, Indiana
Grade: High School Junior (class of 2019)
School: North High School
Votes: 0

In
the populous, spread out region of the United States, millions of
cars are on the road at one time, but because driving isn’t seen as
a serious responsibility to all drivers, fatalities are unnecessarily
high. From texting and driving, to drunk driving, these devastating
traumas can be avoided through new propositions by both businesses
and the government.

The
most prevalent fault that arises, especially as younger generations
begin to drive, is the distraction of technology. From constant
Twitter notifications to weather alerts, no distraction from driving
is worth the lives of others. Some measures have been taken by
Snapchat one of the most popular social media platforms among teens,
such as flashing images that discourage “Snapping and Driving”
anytime the phone senses driving speeds. Similarly, iPhones have a
setting that turns the phone on Do Not Disturb once driving speeds
are reached which turns off all notifications until a destination is
reached. By bringing attention to the issue of distracted driving,
these highly influential platforms reach young and old drivers alike.
However, the process doesn’t stop there; personal steps can be
taken such as enabling the safe driving setting on the iPhone or
reminding a friend not to text and drive; encourage friends and
family to text, when they arrive safely at their locations, not
during. By requesting this, it shows a genuine concern for the safety
of the person who is driving which strengthens the relationship while
keeping the driver safe.

As
social reforms to the issue are taking place, government ones should
occur as well. In states such as Pennsylvania and Delaware, texting
and driving has now become illegal, giving a police officer the right
to pull a car over and issue a $50 fine. However, not all states have
directly inflicted a punishment for this reckless behavior. With only
18 states prohibiting cell phone use and driving, there is a lack of
persistence across the nation to end this detrimental activity. By
increasing to prevalence of these laws, people will, as well, become
more aware of the dangers that distracted driving brings, making the
incentive to do so less.

As
a fairly new driver, with only about two years of driving under my
belt, I’ve been witness to friends as well as family members,
ranging from 16 to 60 years old, driving distracted. While to them it
seems to be a habit, of sorts, this dangerous activity is spread
across generations. I, personally, do not engage with my phone while
I drive because of the Apple Do Not Disturb setting. One of my
closest friends, when we first met, had the constant behavior of
texting and driving, yet after a year of friendship, has completely
broken the habit, because of my constant complaining, and, encourages
others to do so as well. While I am fortunate enough to never have
faced an incident due to distracted driving, the effects are still of
maximum importance to me which influences me to continue to advocate
for safe driving.


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