Distracted Driving Research Paper

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Distracted Driving Research Paper

The Dangers of Distracted Driving

Joshua Thomas

Acquiring Knowledge in the Digital Age: LIS-1013

Professor Roark

November 21, 2017

Part I: The Dangers of Distracted Driving

Driving can be one of the most liberating feelings a person can experience. Teenagers especially enjoy having that glorious sense of freedom from the world. But one of the most dangerous things a person can be on the road is a distracted driver. And with the advancement of technology, the chances of being a distracted have risen immensely. The use of a cellular device while operating a motorized vehicle is extremely dangerous and the consequences of doing so are dire. These drivers are not only putting themselves in danger but also all those traveling around them.

To fully understand our topic at hand, let’s first define what exactly a distracted driver is. A distracted driver is anyone who is operating a motor vehicle while their attention is diverted to something else such as texting or calling. One might think that looking at who is calling, reading a quick text, sending a quick reply, looking for the right song, etc. isn’t harmful; but I can be extremely detrimental. A quote by an unknown author states that “It takes 8,460 bolts to assemble an automobile, and one nut to scatter it all over the road” (Unknown). All it takes is one careless driver to ruin not only their life but also the lives of others around them.

While on the road, the driver should have one main goal and that is to make sure that they make it to their destination in one piece. A driver must do anything and everything in their power to make sure to achieve that goal but unfortunately not everyone accomplishes that goal. By using a cell phone a person is obstructing themselves from achieving that goal. The United States Department of Transportation has concluded that “Distracted driving is dangerous, [and] claiming 3,477 lives in 2015 alone” (A, 2017). Since 2015 there have been even greater advances in technology, thus making this issue much worse. As newer forms of technology emerge so does the risk of being distracted on the road. Edgar Snyder & Associates, a law firm, collected quite a bit of data on distracted drivers. They found that cell phone use while driving leads to 1.6 million crashes each year, nearly 330,000 injuries occur each year from accidents caused by texting while driving, 1 out of every 4 car accidents in the United States is caused by texting and driving, and that texting while driving is 6x more likely to cause an accident than driving drunk (Texting and Driving Accident Statistics – Distracted Driving). Those statistics are extremely alarming because with the United States having a population of about 320 million people, that means that about 5 percent of the United States is getting into an accident and all because of a simple text or call.

        Stating facts and statistics isn’t going to make a big enough impact on some people. Some people need to hear stories or accounts to truly show the effects of being a distracted driver. On April 1, 2017 there was a fatal crash between a pickup driver and a church bus which resulted in death of 13 of passengers on the bus. “Jody Kuchler, a 55-year-old self-employed welder, said he and his girlfriend were driving back to their home in the nearby town of Leakey when he came across a truck that was driving erratically across the road. ‘He kept going off the road and into oncoming traffic and he just kept doing that,’ said Kuchler, who first shared the account of what happened with the San Antonio Express-News. Kuchler, who followed the truck for at least 15 minutes, said he called the sheriff’s offices for both Uvalde and Real counties and told them “they needed to get him off the road before he hit somebody.’ Kuchler said he witnessed the crash and afterward, he checked on both the bus and the truck and was able to speak with the driver of the truck, who the Department of Public Safety has identified as 20-year-old Jack Dillon Young, of Leakey.‘ He said, ‘I’m sorry, I’m sorry. I was texting.’ I said, ‘Son, do you know what you just did?’ He said, ‘I’m sorry. I’m sorry,’” Kuchler recalled” (Press, A.,2017). This young man’s decision to text and drive cost the life of 13 people and that’s something he’s going to have to live with forever. Another tragic story is an account from a close friend of mine who lost both his brother and mother in a terrible car accident. “It was July of 2012 and my family and I were taking a quick trip. My mother had some work-related thing so our whole family decided to go with her just for fun. Little did we know that this would be the last trip we all took together. We went on our trip, had a ton of fun, and we decided to travel back later that day. On the way back everything changed. I remember fighting with my brother and so my dad made my mother switch seats with my brother, so that he would sit in the passenger seat. We were on the road, one minute we were all ok and the next minute everything changed. All I felt was something hitting our car really hard and being knocked unconscious. When I woke up, I was in the hospital and long story short, I found out I had lost my mother and my brother. My dad was alright but my little sister was in critical condition. All that happened in a split second and because of what? I’ll tell you what, a single distracted driver on the road changed my life” (How a Distracted Driver Change My Life, 2017). We can see from this extremely tragic story how one person changed the course of my friend’s future. One driver made the wrong decision, the wrong choice and it cost my friend everything.

In conclusion, using a cellular device while driving a car is extremely dangerous. Not only is the driver putting others on the road at risk, they are putting their own lives at risk by making such a bad decision. Many people may agree with this but not many will take a stand against using a cell phone while driving. So be the change you want to see in the world, make a difference by being a smarter driver.


A. (2017, November 16). U Drive. U Text. U Pay. Retrieved November 18, 2017, from