Submitted by Alan Barraza
Dangerous driving habits are found in nearly every person. However, within teenagers, there are unproportionate and unacceptable amounts of bad habits due to texting, calling, and social media. Our generation has succumbed to an addiction to our cell phones and we find ourselves using them in the most inconvenient situations.
One of these situations, most likely the most dangerous, is while driving. Using our cell phones while driving endangers not only our own lives but the lives of others. Reducing this distraction to a minimum should be a top priority in our society. There are so many easy ways to resolve this issue. It is basically just building good habits for yourself, or even using software specifically designed to prevent you from using your phone while driving.
In terms of the habits, leaving your phone in the back seat, out of reach, is one of many things you can do before getting in your car to counter the need to look at your phone. Even turning off your phone before beginning to drive might be the safest method to do. Also putting your phone in Do Not Disturb will help because you will no longer feel the need to look at your phone when you receive a notification.
This leads into software that you can use to prevent these bad habits. Apple has a feature where you can use Bluetooth and maps for your phone to detect whenever you are in or near your car. This feature locks the phone, dismisses notifications, and only allows access for emergency situations. If all teenagers take the responsibility upon themselves to turn on this feature, we would have a significant decrease in cell phone associated crashes and fatalities.
I personally have this feature activated and it has significantly decreased my urges to look at my phone while driving. I have recommended this feature to all of my friends and fellow peers because I truly believe that everyone should be driving safe and I would hate for anything terrible to happen to anyone in my community. Unfortunately, we cannot prevent all use of cell phones in our communities; therefore, we should take advantage of the technology we have before us.
Bluetooth, I believe, is very beneficial to drive safe. It allows drivers to do basic actions like texting or calling without ever taking their eyes off of the road. This technology, when used responsibly can be a huge benefit to teen driving safety. Calling and texting using Bluetooth virtually remove the main risk of the action, taking your eyes off the road.
However, you can make the argument that the driver is still distracted and that can be true. Nonetheless, we must take step forward, even if it is one by one. Some progress and improvement are better than none at all. Personal responsibility and self-care is the answer to maximizing safety within teen drivers. All of the methods mentioned above can be used to reduce bad driving habits that have contaminated our generation and
ensure safety for everyone in the community