Distracted Driving

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Delivered 3:23 P.M. Ever since I was involved in a life-threatening car crash, I have increased my awareness and interest in driving as safe as possible. Most people in today’s society are exposed to the dangers of distracted driving, specifically texting; however, they continue to do it, even though the odds are against them. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration stated that one in every four car accidents are caused by texting and driving. To resist my own impulses, I turn my phone on do not disturb while driving. This silences my phone when notifications are received, therefore reducing my urge to check my phone. As technology advances, more and more humans are becoming attached to their smartphones. Due to the connection with …show more content…

Early in the article, Shaun Vecera, a professor at Iowa’s Psychological and Brain Sciences Department, is introduced. He explains the experiment performed by his team of researchers to determine whether or not attention disengagement is the cause of poor driving when simultaneously using a cell phone. (Lewis 4). Subjects were classified as either active listeners or passive listeners. Active listeners had to answer true or false questions; passive listeners did not answer, just listened. The active listeners mimicked a person talking on the phone or having a conversation with a passenger in the car (Lewis 3). Both types of subjects had to face a computerized screen that tracked their eye movements. A new object would appear on the screen during the questioning, and the eye-movement speed to the object was recorded. The active listeners took almost one hundred milliseconds longer (Lewis 18). This delay does not seem like much, but it piles on top of eachother; Vecera describes it as a “snowball effect.” One distraction after another creates the attentional disengagement problem, causing the driver to be oblivious to their surroundings (Lewis 18). Vecera also makes a strange proposal in this article; he thinks researchers should look into whether or not someone can condition or practice texting and driving to eliminate the mental distraction it causes (Lewis 22). This claim seems strange to me, considering Vecera dedicated a whole experiment trying to prove the dangers of texting and driving. I have never considered practicing something as dangerous as texting and driving to become better at it or to try and diminish the possible consequences. This source helped me understand why people drive worse when using a cell phone, but I still have not found any statistics proving

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