Distracted Driving

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You feel the buzzing in your pocket and pull out your cell phone to respond to the text. While looking down, you run into a few people. After a few quick apologies, you continue on your way. You are talking on your phone in the hallway, you bump into something and start saying “Sorry” but it happens to be a trash can. Something catches your eye on a shelf at the grocery store and you run into someone. All you have to give is a few more quick apologies. Sometimes in life, “sorry” acts as a magic word and can mend everything, and then there other times, “sorry” undoes nothing. Will “sorry” help when you crash your parents’ car because you needed to respond to a text message? What about when you kill someone’s child because you had a conversation going on the phone and ran a stop sign? Will you say “sorry” to that kid’s parents and expect things to get better? And if you had an accident because of the distraction of talking to your friend in the passenger seat, what would you say to her if you got to see her again? “Sorry you had to go to my funeral”? “I apologize for making you live with that horrible memory for the rest of your life”? “Sorry cannot begin to fix some things and preventing those things from happening by acting responsibly is the best you can do. People should not drive when talking to a passenger, using a cell phone or when they have distractions of any kind.

Talking to a passenger can immensely distract drivers. Keeping an eye on the speedometer, the road, other cars, upcoming signs and traffic lights in conjunction with holding a conversation with a passenger is quite a challenge. David Strayer, a psychology professor at the University of Utah estimates that only 2% of people can safely multitask while driving. According to his estimation, a driver has a one in fifty chance of having the skills necessary to multitask while continuing to drive safely. Quite a risk to take. To assume that one has those skills is a major hazard. Strayer’s studies...
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