by Salvatore Pitino, staff reporter
Imagine driving down the street and receiving a text. Eyes are taken off the wheel for a second and that’s when the bang is heard. An innocent bystander has just died.
According to a study in April of 2012 by the US DOT- National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, around 70% of teens twenty or under, kept driving while sending texts and emails.
Junior Noelle Dimelfi said, “It’s [texting while driving] really not worth it. Why would you risk your life or someone else’s over something that could wait? Why wouldn’t you just pull over? It’s just stupid to me.”
As the 2012-2013 school year rolls by, some students will begin driving to and from school. Some teenagers have just gotten their license, while others have just turned 16 years old and taken exams to receive their drivers permit. No matter how they’re on the road, teenagers are more likely to become distracted while on the road because of previous habits, than in school or while conversing with their parents.
According to distraction.org, 16% of teen drivers account for the total number of fatalities because they were distracted while on the road. In a 2009 study conducted by them, 995 fatal accidents were caused that year by distracted driving because the driver was using his or her mobile device.
Teenagers aren’t always aware of the fact that driving a motor vehicle comes with many responsibilities. They have to be aware of all their surroundings, such as traffic signs, other cars, pedestrians and the other people in the vehicle. Distractions can cause drivers to forget about these responsibilities.
Senior Elizabeth Joa said, “I don’t believe people should text and drive simultaneously because it can endanger your own life and the lives of people around you. I am not a driver that gets distracted. My attention is on the road and the environment around me.”
Distractions can vary but their consequences are all the same, deadly. Even something as simple as not liking the radio station that was pre-set or changing a cd can have consequences. This is because the mind becomes too distracted to adjust the music and in the one second the diver looks away, can cause a fatal accident.
A parent of a student in the 11th grade said, “Teens find themselves always with their phones in their hand, but do they ever think about that they can hurt themselves and others who are on the road as well.”
For the seniors who will be driving to and from school opposed to taking public transportation, they should follow the following guidelines and suggestions from the school.
Academic Intervention Specialist (AIS) Mr. Millman said, “ We want to have a file, to know who is driving, what car, plates, just in case of any accident or problems with police or anything that would requires us to contact a parent.”
Do not be distracted while driving, it keeps everyone in a safer environment. Take the pledge to not use mobile devices while on the road at http://www.distraction.gov under get involved.