The winner of our 2017 $1000 scholarship is: Gianna Piscitelli. She will be attending Eastern Florida State College
Thank you to all who participated and submitted essays.
Here is Gianna’s essay about teen distracted driving:
According to edgarsnyder.com, “eleven teens die every day as a result of texting while driving.” You may not think the problem of teen/college age texting and driving/distracted driving affects you, but what if your child was one of those eleven? Could you imagine the damage that would be caused because your teen took .2 seconds to look down and answer that text, or had the music up too loud and couldn’t hear that semi behind them? This is a problem that needs to be stopped. The sooner these following solutions are put in place, the quicker we can start saving lives.
One technique that would be effective is to work with the telephone companies worldwide in order to allow the 16 to 22 year old demographic to receive a discount on their phone bills when using the driving restriction. This system blocks phones from working when reaching dangerous speed limits (45 miles per hour and over). When young drivers reach these high speeds and attempt to text and drive, even a millisecond can change their life. Since teens are not as experienced with driving, their awareness levels need to be up. Teens feel like they are invincible and that nothing bad could ever happen to them, however a glance at a phone can mean the difference between life or death.
Another measure of precaution that teens can practice, is taking responsibility for their own lives and placing their phone in their trunk or any place out of reach, while silenced. Doing this alleviates the temptation that comes with the sound of an electronic device, even if the incoming notification is not of importance. This simple solution will allow the drivers to not be a victim of distracted driving, keeping all passengers and fellow drivers safe. This will permit the motorist to keep attention to the road.
If the driver suffers from nomophobia, or fear of being out of cellular phone contact, then the following solution may be more effective for them. A passphrase can be placed on the user’s cellular device, in which in attempt to use the phone while driving, would present a reminder that their text is not worth their life. If they feel as if they cannot function without their phones, then hopefully this solution will lessen their temptation the more they are reminded.
Another solution, is to tweak the law. As of right now, at least in the state of Florida, texting while driving is a secondary offense, which means that the offender must be pulled over for another offense, before being charged with texting while driving. Therefore, they cannot be pulled over for simply operating their device and the car at the same time, making the law lenient. If the law could become stricter and changed to have texting while driving become a primary offense, this would have a harsher impact on teens and hopefully limit the use of a cell phone while driving.
“21% of teen drivers involved in fatal accidents were distracted by their cell phones.” Taking these solutions into consideration could lessen the percentage of fatalities caused by the 21st century technology that is taking over our world. Each life of a teen is sacred and must not be taken for granted because they are the future. We must all work together to prevent those terrible phone calls to the parents of the deceased, who pay the ultimate price of their life because of one selfish act. Teens need to realize that they are not only harming themselves but also the people on the other end of the accident, which could also end in a fatality. The traumatic and emotional stress alone should be more than enough reason to put the phone down and pay attention to their surroundings.
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