2023-2024 Group 1 Winning Essay by Christine Jung

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Distracted Driving: Its Impact on Society and Solutions

By Christine Jung
Grade 7, Campbell School of Innovation, Campbell, CA

In September 2016, a fatal car crash led to the death of nine-year-old Logan Scherer. According to ABC Action News (LaGrone, 2023), Gregory Andriotis, driving 80 miles per hour, did not see the car in front and slammed into the back of the Scherers’ SUV while parked in traffic. The ensuing pile-up of cars crushed The Scherers. Logan Scherer was killed instantly. This tragic death was unfortunately caused by distracted driving.

Decoding the statistics: Is distracted driving a major problem?
According to a recent study (“Distracted driving,” 2022), “In the United States, over 3,100 people were killed and about 424,000 were injured in crashes involving a distracted driver in 2019”. While the statistics already reveal the dangers of distracted driving, the number itself doesn’t tell the whole story. The more problematic fact is that, according to Allianz (Weishuber & Kitzmann, 2023), one of the world’s leading insurance companies, car crashes caused by distracted drivers are increasing. "The new Allianz study shows that the proportion of drivers who pick up their smartphone to read or send a text increased by almost two-thirds between 2016 and 2022, from 15 to 24 percent," says Christoph Lauterwasser, head of the Allianz Center for Technology (AZT).
This information shows that distracted driving is a major problem. According to Christoph Lauterwasser, “This development is worrying and dangerous. Anyone who texts while driving increases their risk of an accident by more than 50 percent."

Individual and community approach: Promoting awareness
A measure that can be taken at individual and community levels to mitigate the dangers of distracted driving is to promote awareness. Promoting awareness about the dangers of distracted driving can help remind people that driving with a device is dangerous and illegal. Communities can celebrate Distracted Driving Awareness Month, support local laws, participate in forums, and highlight the risks of distracted driving on social media.

Legislative approach: More restrictions on cell phones while driving
A stronger and more direct measure is to put more restrictions on cell phones while drivers are in the car. To minimize distracted driving, it's crucial to disable phones except for necessary apps. Cell phones are a leading cause of distracted driving, as people use them for ways of communication, making them inattentive to driving. According to CDC (“Distracted Driving”, 2022), in 2019 39% of high school students used cell phones while driving. To prevent distracted drivers, a strong law could benefit.

In summary, people can approach the problem through individual, community, and legislative measures. Distracted driving is a problem that many are trying to solve by 2030. Over 3,000 lives were lost in 2019 due to distracted driving and many more were injured. This is a problem that has been increasing and people who text while driving increase their risk of an accident by more than 50 percent. Therefore, more restrictions on cell phones while driving and promoting awareness in communities are necessary to prevent distracted drivers and to make 2030 a vision zero 2030.


LaGrone, K. ( June 16, 2023). Florida man gets 30 years for distracted driving case that killed 9-year-old boy in Brooksville. ABC Action News Tampa Bay
(WFTS). https://www.abcactionnews.com/news/local-news/i-team- investigates/florida-man-gets-30-years-for-distracted-driving-case-that-killed-9-year- old-boy-in-brooksville

Distracted Driving. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (April 26, 2022). https://www.cdc.gov/transportationsafety/Distracted_Driving/index.html

Weishuber, C & Kitzmann. F. (March 1, 2023). Drivers are too distracted by modern technology. Allianz.com, https://www.google.com/url?q=https://www.allianz.com/en/press/news/studies/230 301_Allianz-Drivers-are-too-distracted-by-modern- technology.html&sa=D&source=docs&ust=1706584857848495&usg=AOvVaw24OBj U8hvdpiENusLvywun




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