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Subject: What can we do to reduce auto-collisions on our Nation’s highways?

Writer: Mikayla

Car accidents were the cause of 38,300 deaths in the United States in 2015. This was an 8% increase from deaths in 2014. There was a 3% decrease from 2012-2013 and only a .5% increase from 2013-2014. It is evident that car crashes are becoming a larger issue in the United States and necessary lives are taken due to negligent driving. Many car crashes are caused by distracted driving or drunk driving. Most recently, the app Pokémon Go has caused drivers to become distracted while looking at their phone to chase Pokémon while driving. Highway collisions are especially dangerous because of the multilane roads and excessive speeds. While collisions are becoming an increasing issue, there are methods we can take as a nation to ensure safety on our roads.

The first solution I would implement is to make it necessary that drivers place their phones on a special charging device on the dashboard in order for the car to start. The phone must be turned off in order for the car to start. Even phone conversations through the car itself are still a distraction to drivers. If a driver needs to check his/her phone or make a phone call they can pull over. Furthermore, if the driver removes the phone while driving the car will not automatically shut off because that is dangerous but instead will continually reduce speed at 1mph per second until the phone is replaced. Passengers could place their phones on the charger so the driver can use his/hers but the passenger will then be the most vigilant reducing the chance of an accident. Another method to decrease highway collisions is to require every driver to blow into a breathalyzer in order for the car to start. They must be below the legal limit and the limit can be adjusted to below the legal limit but not above. Once again, a passenger could blow in the breathalyzer for the driver but this method will ultimately reduce the number of drunken citizens driving. While both of these solutions will reduce the number of highway collisions they are expensive and will result in anger of many citizens. I still highly believe in these solutions but believe there is one more that may not be as effective but will please most everyone.

Education of the statistics of car accidents and how dangerous they can be is important especially for young drives. A little more than 1/5 of all collision deaths were drivers and passengers ages 16-20. This is disproportionate to the percent of the population 16-20 year olds make up. I think a good method to educate these young students on the effects of drunk and distracted driving is to use virtual reality. Guest speakers are great but having these teenagers actually experience it for themselves will leave a lasting message. Virtual reality has become increasingly popular and much more realistic so the students will actually feel like they are in a car accident. Although collisions have increased in the past year there are many solutions to help reduce this rate. I mentioned a few I believe would be effective but there are many more!

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