Caught by Consequences
by Abigail H., age 16
Consequences follow drivers everywhere. Whether they are driving to the grocery store or late for an important event, it is highly likely that their cell phone was in their hand at one time or another during the drive. Insanely inane individuals are ignorant to danger that is seemingly right in front of their nose. Texting while driving continues to end drivers’ lives on a regular basis. Why take that risk? “In a split second you could ruin your future, injure or kill others, and tear a hole in the heart of everyone who loves you,” stated Sharon Heit, mother of Alexander Heit, a student who perished behind the wheel while typing a text to a buddy. In most cases overconfidence clouds drivers’ judgment each time they get a notification on their phone, and they do not stop to ponder the emotional consequences of their actions. Although they believe it will only take a second, it could be their last. Texting while driving may seem quick and easy; however, the numerous dangers it presents to cautious and overconfident drivers alike is quite treacherous, such as the emotional consequences after an accident.
Texting while driving is exceedingly dangerous, putting many in perilous situations on a daily basis. In 2018 the CDC recorded that about 2,800 people had perished in texting accidents, and nearly 400,000 were severely injured by them. Shockingly, “[a]t 55 miles per hour, sending or reading a text is like driving the length of a football field with your eyes closed” (“Distracted Driving”). This is quite accurate. Although many believe a hasty glance at their cell phone will not affect their life, it could mean the difference of getting to their destination or not. “An astounding 69% of drivers (aged 18-64) in the U.S. admitted to using their cell phone while driving. … Compare this to a European low of 29% in the United Kingdom or 59% in Portugal” (Helbock). Severe danger blatantly unveils itself every single time drivers reach for their phone while they are driving. Arriving late to an event, people who text while they are driving put themselves and others in extreme danger. Many people choose to participate in texting while driving, causing the roads to be ever so dangerous.
By dangerously using a phone while driving, drivers cause their own brains to slow reactions, which leads to more accidents and emotional consequences afterwards. Evidently, “[d]riving and cell phones don’t mix,” but how much do they affect the driver in reality (“Driven to Distraction”)? Research voraciously exhibits “that when drivers use cell phones, whether hand-held or hands-off, their attention to the road drops and driving skills become even worse than if they had too much to drink” (“Driven to Distraction”). Suppose, hypothetically, an accident happened. Caused by someone who was texting behind the wheel, this fatal accident that did not kill the driver will no doubt cause them emotional injury because a passenger or a fellow driver perished. Because of this, people may not have a desire to drive again, but at the same time, a hard lesson would be learned about using their scanty attention span. As stated by David Strayer of the Applied Cognition Laboratory at the University of Utah, “Human attention has a limited capacity, and studies suggest that talking on the phone causes a kind of ‘inattention blindness’ to the driving scene” (“Driven to Distraction”). If someone uses a phone while driving, it causes his brain to slow reactions, leading to many accidents and emotional consequences.
Many people are overconfident in using their phones while they are behind the wheel, but this causes a huge issue for everyone on the road. Although most people are confident that they can use a phone and drive, the most experienced drivers can still be “zombie motorists” (Weisberg). Mainly, “people overestimate their ability to multitask,” causing the driver to make errors that they are unaware of while they are sitting behind the wheel (Weisberg). This is quite harmful. What if an accident happens? What if someone perishes? Overly confident that they can multitask, drivers remove their brains from concentrating on surveilling the road and place themselves in a completely different mindset while trying to focus on both, which will unquestionably not work. Correspondingly, “[e]ven when we are looking, we don’t perceive it as well when we are not distracted. We are seeing, but not perceiving” (Holzwarth). In the end the drastic danger for drivers to expeditiously snatch a peak at their phone is as risky as driving through deep mud blindfolded. When overconfident people use their phones while driving, it creates a massive issue for everyone else on the road.
Many overweening drivers are negligent not to realize the importance of silencing their phones while they are driving. Some people may use hands-free options, but it is no use. Danger presents itself either way. Although it may be simple for drivers to reach for their phones and text while driving, both hubristic and heedful drivers introduce themselves and others to numerous dangers, sometimes causing accidents that bring about many emotional consequences. Most importantly, drivers need to put down their cell phones and keep their eyes on the road and hands on the wheel. If not, horrid events could quite possibly take place. An accident that could have been prevented if they had simply followed the law would cause distressing emotional reverberations. Drivers are caught by consequences.
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