Put Down Your Cell Phone and Drive Safe
You’ve finally convinced your parents to lend you their car and as you cruise down the highway on your way to your friend’s place, your favourite song comes on the radio. You sink back into the driver’s seat and think to yourself, “Life is good!” Then you hear your cell phone whistle like a little bird, perched on the passenger seat beside you. You check the road ahead and decide it’s safe to grab your phone with your right hand – just so see who sent the message. It’s your friend and she’s asking when you’re going to arrive at her place. Just a quick message back to her will be easy to send, especially since you’ve sent texts while driving plenty of times before.
In the blink of an eye, you realize you’ve lost control. But it’s too late. Somehow between grabbing the phone and reading the text, your car drifted to the right just as another vehicle was fast approaching in the lane next to you. Your car slams into the driver’s side of the oncoming vehicle and you both screech down the highway into the meridian. Overcome by shock and then relief that you’re still alive, you fail to immediately notice that the car you just hit has two young children in the back seats.
Distracted driving has become a national issue in Canada. That is why in every province, it is illegal to drive while talking on a cell phone and offenders can expect to pay more than $150 for breaking the law. Sadly, though, the consequences of distracted driving are far more serious than a steep fine.
Car crashes are the number one cause of death for teenagers – who make up the largest proportion of distracted drivers. According to some statistics, texting while driving kills 11 teens every single day. And when young drivers have passengers with them in the car, the chances of a fatal accident increases up to five times.
Driving is an enormous responsibility that requires careful attention even after a driver has gained years of experience. Even if you really are a skilled driver, there are many others with whom you share the road that you need to be aware of. Always remember that you are not invincible and distracting yourself while driving puts everyone around you at risk. Turn the volume on your phone off when you get into vehicle to drive so that you’re not tempted to use it, and always be an example to your friends. Being safe is actually pretty cool because it shows people that you value your life – and theirs.