The Dangers of Distracted Driving

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The Dangers of Distracted Driving

Farina Khalil, Writer

River City High School students attended a driving awareness presentation held by the driver’s education teacher, Shannon Woods, in partnership with Impact Teen Driving, an organization that was founded in response to the high frequency of crashes involving teens to which California Highway Patrol (CHP) officers respond.

The goal of the organization is to reduce the number of injuries and deaths suffered by teens as a result of distracted driving and poor decision making. According to their website, impactteendrivers.org, 4,000 teens die each year due to vehicle collision, that’s roughly 11 per day. 75% of it is not related to drugs and alcohol but due to distractions such as cell phones or applying makeup.

“I’ve worked in many areas and on average, in a big area you’ll see 5 crashes [per day] from minor property damage to fatality,” said Officer Martine Olivares, who also talked about how cell phones are a common distraction while driving. In fact, a majority of the calls he gets about teen vehicle collisions are caused by distracted driving.

Debbie Smith, a speaker at the Impact Teen Driving event, spoke about her son Joel Davis, who had died in a car accident in 2005 in Pleasanton, CA because the two passengers in the front were arguing and crashed into a tree. She spoke about her reaction when she found out her son died when she received a coroner’s note she got in the mail.

“My son went from being a person to now being a case number,” said Smith.

The Impact Teen Driving presentation hopes to raise awareness to prevent any type of distraction in the car from taking a driver’s focus from the road, especially for teens because they are young and inexperienced drivers.

“Respect life, you can’t bring it back once it’s lost,” said Smith.

 

 

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