It can wait

Distracted driving needs to end 

By The Schoolcraft 
Connection Editorial Staff

IMAGE BY JAKE MULKA | PHOTO EDITOR Schoolcraft College hosted a texting while driving simluation during Welcome Week on Sept. 1, to show students the reality of the danger of driving while distracted.

IMAGE BY JAKE MULKA | PHOTO EDITOR
Schoolcraft College hosted a texting while driving simluation during Welcome Week on Sept. 1, to show students the reality of the danger of driving while distracted.

Since the invention of smartphones, it seems like everyone is constantly utilizing their devices, and it isn’t just teenagers now how it was stereotypically a decade ago; children, young adults and middle-aged people are all glued to their smart phones today. The addiction is real for many. While it may not seem harmful, when someone cannot stay off of their phone for the duration of a drive, they and everyone around them are in harms way. The scary part is that drivers looking down towards their laps can be found everywhere, especially around Schoolcraft’s campus and the surrounding metro area, which happens to be an extremely high traffic area in Michigan

According to InverstorPlace. com, cell phones are involved in about 1.6 million automobile-related accidents annually, which makes sense since fcc.gov stated that texting while driving at 65 mph is equivalent to driving the length of a football field blindfolded. Human brains cannot actually “multi-task,” or do more than one activity at a time. Brains simply switch back and forth between tasks, which means that drivers cannot possibly read, think of a response, type it out and press send all while focusing on driving. Textinganddrivingsafety.com said that sending one text message increases the chance of crashing by 23 times; yet, 13 percent of drivers between the ages 18 and 20 are involved in a car crash admitted to texting or talking on their phone at the time of the crash. That percent seems fairly small, but it needs to be acknowledged that many drivers in a crash would not admit to their own phone usage being a factor contributing to the crash, so the real percentage must be higher.

With so many crashes that could cause injuries and deaths involving distractions, one would think that people would discontinue their phone usage on roads for the sake of safety. Unfortunately according to www.distraction.gov, during any time zone across America, a steady number held since 2010, approximately 660,000 drivers are using cell phones or manipulating electronic devices while driving.

Texting while driving can be a difficult temptation to avoid, but there are ways to evade this distraction. Many radios today are Bluetooth connected and allow driver to be more focused on the road rather than their phone. Drivers with this luxury have a duty to utilize it. Phone calls and music can be instantly connected leaving no room for the driver to have to even look at their phone. Of course not all radios are Bluetooth, but there other obvious ways to stay safe and focused. Although it might be drastic, the most foolproof way to pay attention solely to the road is to leave the phone at home altogether. If this is not possible, the next best option is to put the phone in the trunk before leaving. Other ways include handing over the phone to a passenger or turning if off.

Whatever action is taken, just remember that no text or distraction is worth losing a life over. Today’s drivers must acknowledge the staggering numbers of statics showing the problem within texting and driving and make a life change to better society; the change could save several lives. The message can wait.