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My Grandfathers House

By jimbo719156 May 06, 2013 1093 Words
As if driving with distraction wasn't dangerous enough, put a teenager with a cell phone behind the wheel and it gets much worse. Vehicle crashes are one of the top causes of death for 15-20 year olds (Thomas, 2009). Emma Vieira, 19, of Colchester, Vermont, left a woman in a coma and killed a dog as a result of an accident back in August of 2011. Vieira was texting at the time of the accident. About 6,000 deaths are caused by distracted drivers every year (Merchant, 2012). Many people, novice teen drivers and older experienced drivers alike, do not take the law of no texting while driving serious enough. Texting while driving should be avoided at all cost because it takes a drivers attention off of the road, it is dangerous to the public, and it can result in life changing consequences. Drivers often perform non-driving activities that divert their attention from driving. This could be from conversing with a passenger, dialing or hanging up a cell phone, or having a phone conversation (Singh, 2010). When drivers are busy reading, drafting, or sending a text message they are not fully paying attention to their surroundings. Texting while driving causes a 400 percent increase in time spent with eyes off the road (Thomas, 2009). Anything, at any time could happen and it could easily happen in the few seconds drivers eyes are on their phone instead of the road. Teens tend to be the group with the most risky driving habits (Thomas, 2009). Emma Vieira of Colchester, Vermont, happened to be one of many teens to text while driving. She turned her attention from the road to her phone for only a few seconds and in that time she hit a woman and her dog. At 30 mph, Vieira had about five seconds to see and avoid Drewniak but failed to see the woman even as she hit her (Ryan, 2012). Texting and a lack of attention caused Vieira to endanger another person's life. A Melbourne Monash University study found that young drivers who text take their eyes off the road four times more than other drivers and would veer out of their lane 63 percent more frequently (Thomas, 2009). Looking down from the road for a second seems harmless but not when driving involves full attention. 46 percent of teens say they text message while driving (Thomas, 2009). That is 46 or 51 percent of the teen drivers on the road that are not directing their attention to the road, causing dangers to not just themselves and others, but also leaving them briefly out of control of their vehicle. Texting can be as dangerous as drunken driving (Thomas, 2009). If a driver's eyes are not on the road then they are completely unaware of what is around them. This not only endangers the driver, but other drivers and pedestrians as well. About half a million injuries are caused by distracted drivers every year (Merchant, 2012). Deborah Drewniak, 52, was walking her dog one night in Colchester when she was hit by a car (McGilvery, 2011). The victim of the Emma Vieira incident, Deborah Drewniak, was an innocent pedestrian, abiding by the law and walking her dog on the side of the road. Drewniak spent several weeks receiving treatment for a traumatic brain injury at the Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Boston and needed a wheelchair to attend previous court hearings. (Ryan, 2012). She was struck by Vieira's car all because Vieira was texting while she was driving. When a driver texts while they are driving the must remember that they are putting a person's life at risk. Five seconds could mean someone's life. In the Vieira Drewniak case the victim was not killed, however, Drewniaks dog was killed in the accident. The combination of texting and driving is extremely dangerous (Petrancosta, 2010). A person's life is more important than a text message. Most people think that laws against texting and driving are ridiculous, but if they were in the shoes of Vieira they would most likely think otherwise. Each year, 21% of fatal car crashes which involved teens were the result of cell phone usage (Thomas, 2009). If a driver does text while they are driving there are many consequences, whether they get into an accident or if they are spotted by an officer. Text messaging is outlawed for all Vermont drivers. Drivers under the age of 18 banned from using cell phones. There are fines of $100/$250 plus 30-day suspension for junior drivers (Merchant, 2012). Vieira is facing many consequences, from fines, possible jail time, and her driving rights were taken away. Vieira has pleaded not guilty to charges from the crash and faces up to 15 years in prison and $15,000 in fines if convicted (Ryan, 2012). A text message is not worth jail time, in any situation. Consequences for texting while driving are not just a simple slap on the wrist. When you put a person's life at risk you must face some sort of punishment. A Vermont Superior Court judge Friday denied a request by Emma that she would be allowed to drive while awaiting trial (Lambert, 2011). If driving rights are abused there must be consequences as a result. The court believes the restriction is a reasonable one in light of her lack of driving experience (Lambert, 2011). Vieira decided texting was more important than being a cautious driver, and as a result she severely injured an innocent woman and killed the woman's dog. An easy way that most states are able to give consequences for texting while driving is by making it illegal altogether. Individual states have been steadily enacting laws to ban the use of cellphones and to restrict texting while driving (Petrancosta, 2010). This is an excellent way to give consequences as a result of putting someone else's life in danger by texting and driving. Since Vermont's ban on texting and driving went into effect last year, dozens of people have been ticketed for violating the law (McGilvery, 2011). Driving with distractions can be very dangerous, and driving safely is something more people should take seriously. Texting while driving distracts drivers and makes it so they are unaware of their surroundings. Texting while driving should be avoided at all cost because it takes a drivers attention off of the road and leaves them briefly out of control of their car, it is dangerous to the public including pedestrians and other drivers, and it can result in life changing consequences.

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