Discontinue Distracted Driving

Distracted driving kills more and more people every year.


Driving down 72nd Street is normally a pretty monotonous thing. Endless stop lights and a good amount of traffic nearly everyday, with the occasional construction. 

That’s how my family and I expected that drive to be on the way to my sister’s graduation, however, it was anything but that.

Because someone was on their phone while driving, we were rear-ended. Our car was totaled and I fractured my back.

Everyone else in the car was physically hurt as well and the mental effects from this accident still control our everyday life.

Car rides are no longer as peaceful as they used to be and the sight of an accident makes me queasy. Words and sounds that used to mean nothing to me now trigger a panic attack.

I am not the only one who faces this, and neither is my family.

The National Safety Council (NSC) states that in a year, there are generally 1.6 million car accidents that are directly caused by distracted driving. The amount of people affected by these tragedies can only be measured in the millions.

On average, nine people in the United States die everyday from these car accidents, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 

While that may seem like a relatively small number, it adds up to over 3,000 deaths a year and over two million injuries. 

Yet, almost every person who drives can admit to opening their phone at least once while driving to send a message, respond to a snap, or even open up Google Maps. Even adjusting the radio is considered a dangerous distraction.

So why do we have to do these things while driving? Why can’t we put down our phones for the short time it takes us to get from point A to point B?

An alarming 94% of Americans admitted to talking on the phone while driving and another 56% admitted to checking their notifications, as reported by the Detroit Free Press. 

Looking away from the road, even for only a few seconds, going 55mph is the equivalent of driving across a football field with your eyes closed. It is slowly becoming just as dangerous as drunk driving.

And since 2005, the usage of hand-held devices while driving has risen an unnerving 1,300%, according to the NSC. 

That has dramatically increased the amount of accidents, injuries, deaths, and even more.

If the car had been going any faster, I could have died. My family could have died. Looking back, I feel lucky even though I should not.

 So, please, shut down your phone for the few minutes it takes you to get to school and for the longer drives downtown with friends.

Keep that drive down 72nd monotonous.