We’re a group of students called the Inventioneers who are both inventors and social entrepreneurs! We have formed a non-profit organization to help other students around the country in two main ways - by inspiring teen drivers to develop safe driving habits through our innovative ideas, and to help get kids of all ages excited about science.
We came across an article that lists some dangerous things drivers are choosing to do behind the wheel:
Changing a baby's diapers!
Playing a piano keyboard
Sewing or knitting
Letting the dog "drive" (by allowing the animal to have its paws on the steering wheel)
Eating soup ("Take out")
Putting on makeup ("Touch up")
Reading a book taped to the steering wheel
Typing on a laptop while drinking coffee ("Typing" and "Take out")
Smoking, drinking coffee, and talking on a cell phone
We can't say it enough - Don't DUIT™ (Drive Under the Influence of Texting, Tweeting, Typing, Touchscreens, Take out and Touch up). I guess we'll have to add a few new "T's" to cover this new list.
All these dangerous choices would be eliminated with the use of our SMARTwheel™!
18% of teens admitted that they regularly text while driving
About 13% of adult drivers have surfed the Internet while driving
61% of teen drivers admitted that they have risky driving habits
(HealthDay poll from November 10-14, 2011)
It is unlikely that drivers are unaware of the dangers of driving while distracted, what they don't consider are the consequences of driving while distracted. We know it is now easy to surf the internet on your cell phone but doesn't it scare you that 1 out of 10 cars surrounding you on the highway is being driven by someone surfing the internet?
We once saw a driver actually using a laptop he had wedged in the passenger seat while he was going 65 mph on the interstate. Did he really think that was safe? We bet he would never have agreed to allow his child in a car with a driver using a computer while driving. Why was it okay for him to endanger our lives as the passengers in the car next to him as he whizzed down the highway?
Here's a sad story from Canada where a driver's texting with her boyfriend led her to crash. Sure, he didn't make her read the texts and he didn't make her answer, but the fact is that she crashed into the back of a truck because she couldn't resist her boyfriend's texts.
We put all the pressure on the driver to resist texts - what if the boyfriend's first text said "R U Driving? Don't TXT." Still texting, still distracting, but the non-driving partner-in-texting should take some responsibility, too. Take a stand, make a pact with your loved ones - "Don't answer my texts if you are driving."
Even when the boyfriend didn't hear back from the driver, he sent more texts to her which, had she still been driving, would have caused more distraction.
If a friend doesn't text you back - assume he or she is DRIVING, not mad at you.