Distractions cause fatal consequences for teen drivers


Teen drivers are often involved in automobile accidents because of their lack of experience on the road. More dangerous, however, is their inattention and easy distraction by electronic gadgets or passengers.

Driving is a major milestone in teenagers’ lives, greeted with much excitement and anticipation. Once driver’s education is finished and the driver’s test is passed, teens get their licenses. The joys of driving and independence, however, can sometimes take a wrong turn. Although all drivers put their lives at risk when they are behind the wheel, teenagers often have more risky distractions that can lead to fatal consequences.

A major distraction that challenges all drivers is phone usage. Texting is a major culprit that can divert attention that should be focused on the road. Texting especially affects young people because of the need to constantly be in contact with others, the idea that they are skilled enough to multitask in such situations, and the belief in their invulnerability.

Another distraction is food and drink consumption. Consuming breakfasts or snacks while driving can seem harmless, but they still distract. Taking one’s eyes off the road for a second raises the risk of an accident. Usually, teenagers grab drinks or foods on the passenger seat by turning their head and reaching for it. The few seconds of focus diverted from the road can cause an accident. Not only does the reach for refreshments cause a distraction, but driving while eating or drinking does as well.

Music, although it helps pass the time and makes driving more enjoyable, is also a teenage distraction. Many teenagers search for songs on the radio or their music players and blast songs where they tend to sing along, allowing them to bask in music they love. Sometimes teenagers can be so engrossed in music that it deflects from concentrating on driving.

Friends are often the biggest distraction for teenagers who drive. Friends provide company and fun, but passengers are often talking, laughing and distracting the driver from focusing on the road. When drivers are talking or having fun with their passenger friends, the priority is to their friends rather than safe driving.

To prevent accidents and fatal crashes, distractions must be avoided as much as possible. Food, drinks and electronics should always be kept in the back seat to avoid the temptation of reaching for them.

The distraction of friends proves to be the hardest to solve. Although giving friends rides may not be preventable, the driver should be aware that she is responsible for her passengers’ lives. She must act accordingly to make sure that she is being a responsible driver.

Driving is a responsibility and it is up to young drivers to prevent fatal accidents by not allowing distractions to accompany them on their travels.