Driving While Distracted Means Driving Impaired

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by Patrice on June 23, 2011 · 0 comments

in (15-18 years)

Driving While Distracted Means Driving Impaired

By the time your teenage is old enough to learn how to drive, most single moms feel confident that they have made them understand how dangerous drinking can be. Especially when it’s combined with driving. Mom might be surprised to know that talking on the cell phone while driving is just as dangerous.

Texting while driving is a well known danger that most people are aware of. Most states have laws against hand held phones for talking and texting and using them is a good reason for law enforcement to pull the driver over and cite him. But hands free phones, though perfectly legal, and also be dangerous when used by the teenager who is talking to friends when full attention should be on the road ahead and traffic and other activity around him.

Researchers have done studies that compare people who drink and drive to people who talk and drive. Using a driving simulator, they found that people with a blood alcohol content of .08 have the same rate of crashes as people who use their hands free cell phones as they drive. The only difference was that the drunk drivers tended to drive more aggressively that the sober talkers.

The brain cells of the teenage can be over stimulated by a phone conversation, impairing the brain with an overload that interfere with decision making, focus and coordination. These are the same problems that alcohol causes to the brain of the driver. The over-stimulation affects the teenager worse than it does the adult whose brain is fully developed.

A lack of driving experience combined with driving while distracted could be deadly. The teenager may think nothing of combining the two because the discussion has always been about holding a phone or texting while driving. Many think that they are better at multi tasking than they really are. The facts are that if you see a car that crosses the center line, tends to tailgate or runs a stop sign, it’s just as likely that the driver is having a phone conversation as it is that the driver has been drinking.

The single mom can take steps to make it more likely that her teenage drive will arrive safely at their destination. Explain the dangers of distracted driving as thoroughly as you explained the dangers of drinking and driving. Let them know that when they have their mind on the conversation they are involved in on their legal hands free cell phones, their brains aren’t focused on scanning the road.

Watching as your baby gets behind the wheel of the car after earning a brand new drivers license is difficult for most parents. Arm your new driver with the knowledge to help keep him safe until he gets back home.

About Patrice

Patrice Campbell is a freelance writer working from the Denver area. Campbell started her writing career in the 1980’s, working for several Wisconsin local papers as a news, human interest and features writer, as well as a photographer.

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