Hit the Brake on Distracted Driving – Arrive Alive


Features Editor

Two thousand and sixteen is officially upon us, and over the past decade, drivers behind the wheel have been seen eating, putting on make-up and even reading books.

However, drivers have seen a different distraction over the past decade: texting while driving. Most drivers are informed of the risks, and laws have been created to avoid texting driving.

However, we all know how easy it is to just check that one SnapChat or reply to a friend, but that one text message or SnapChat could change everything for the worse.

According to an article written by the Huffington Post in June 2015, 33 percent of U.S. driver’s ages 18 to 64 have reported reading or writing text messages while driving. Distracted driving doesn’t come from just texts. It includes checking social media sites and even changing the song that’s playing while driving can be distracting. It seems harmless until an accident happens.

According to edgarsnyder.com, over 330,000 injuries occur each year from acci- dents caused by texting while driving. Additionally, the article reported acci- dents can occur within five seconds if the driver is not paying attention to the road.

According to dot.ga.gov, in the state of Georgia, there were 1,339 traffic related-fatalities in 2015. In 2014, Georgia reported 1,142 traffic-related fatalities.

These numbers are the first increase in traffic-related accidents for the state of Georgia in nine years.

There have been many campaigns and companies around the world that have opted for safe driving. Messages have been shown through videos, pictures and statistics that show the dangers of distracted driving. One local safety campaign was started in 2015 by The Georgia Department of Transportation, Governor’s Office of Highway Safety and the Department of Public Safety. These organizations partnered together to bring awareness to the state of Georgia.

The name of the campaign is called “DriveAlert. ArriveAlive.” The goal of the campaign is to help bring awareness of the effects of distracted driving. In July of 2010, the state of Georgia passed a law prohibiting drivers from texting while driving and a law prohibiting drivers under the age of 18 to be on their phones at all.

With determination and the willingness to pay more attention while driving, drivers everywhere can reduce accidents and fatali- ties while driving.

Next time behind the wheel, keep in mind how dangerous distracted driving can be and the people that it could affect.

Senior criminal justice major Libby Scoggins said, “Texting and driving is something that puts not only the driver but other drivers on the road at risk.

I think everyone should make the con- scious decision not to do it.”

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