The Crimson Report
Distracted driving is danger to communityThursday, November 10, 2011 By Kristen Dawursk and Johanna Valerio, Staff Writers
Driving is more than turning the wheel and pressing the gas, there are many key elements that make driving safe. You have to know your surroundings and what the car is doing at all times. Texting or talking on the phone can put drivers in sticky situations. There are three main types of distracted driving. Visual, taking your eyes off the road; Manual, taking your hands off the wheel; and Cognitive; taking your mind off of what you’re doing. Being caught in the hands of these three distractions could make your driving go downhill from there. According to the University of Utah, “Using hands free or hand held cell phone while driving delays driver’s reactions as much as having a blood alcohol concentration at the legal limit of .08 percent” if using a cellular device reduces your reaction time to as low as that of drinking a couple of beers, people should already know that it’s a bad idea to text your friend while driving. Yohana Alfaro who is 18 years old and now a senior at Arvada knows that texting and driving is no joke. “I felt really bad when I got in an accident because I didn’t know that I was going to crash,” said Alfaro. Last summer, Alfaro got into a car accident while using a cellular device on the road. Since the crash, Alfaro has been afraid of getting into a crash again. Distracted driving can impact you a lot. There’s no loop hole to jump through to make a cell phone safe at 40 mph. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, “Drivers who use hand held devices are four times more likely to get into crashes serious enough to injure themselves.” Using a cell phone on the road sets you up for failure. It takes your mind off the road because you have to read and process what the person is saying. It takes your eyes off the road if you’re reading a text, and it takes your hands off the wheel because you have to hold the phone if you don’t have a Bluetooth. “Something that the person says might distract you so it is equally dangerous,” said School Resource Officer Chris Gomez, “It is as dangerous to have hands free cell phones as it is to hold the phone up to your ear.” There will be distractions while driving on the road; it’s up to you to choose to avoid them before an accident is provoked.