What Distracts YOU While Driving?

Keep your hands on the wheel, feet on the pedals and eyes on the road.

Drivers continue to be distracted by the same things, no matter the age of the driver behind the wheel, including drivers here at Penn Manor.

In 2009, there were a total of 5,474 distracted driving traffic fatalities, which is 16 percent of all U.S. traffic deaths, according to the U.S. Transportation Department.

Seventy percent of teens say that their parents influenced them how to drive, however, adult drivers do not always exhibit the best role-model behavior. The survey found most parents exhibit the same distracted behaviors as teens,” according to Froedtert.com’s a website that track’s driving statistics.

Junior Marc Summy admits to being in an accident due to a distracted driver. Photo by Jenna Reel

“iPods, friends, loud country music, my cell phone, eating food and other people’s high beams at night distract me,” explained Marc Summy, a junior at Penn Manor High School.

The U.S. Department of Transportation reports there are many distracting activities while driving that cause crashes. These activities include using a cell phone, eating and drinking, talking to passengers, grooming, reading (including maps), using a PDA or navigation system, watching a video, and changing the radio station, CD, or mp3 player.

Not only does Summy admit to being distracted while driving, but he has recently been in an accident with a 16-year-old who was not paying attention.

“I was rear-ended by a 16-year-old who was distracted by his friend who was in the passenger seat. They were talking and I guess he wasn’t looking and he hit me,” said Summy.

Nick Weidinger said that he hates when there are bugs in his car and fly around because it makes it very hard to drive.

One senior at Penn Manor High School, Tanner Kennedy, also admits to being distracted while driving.

Common things like drinking and talking on the phone distract drivers. Photo Credit to distracteddrivingpolicy.com

“I was driving and there were four big size cappuccinos on the passenger side floor for myself and my friends,” said Kennedy.  “I was on my way and there was a red light ahead so I pressed the brakes to stop and the cappuccinos spilled. At the light, I tried to pick them up and drive at the same time and I hit a motorcycle. I was going literally two miles per hour and I still had my temporary license.”

“My cell phone, the radio, mp3 player, and good looking women distract me,” said Kennedy.

Nick Hartley, also a senior at the high school, agrees that his phone, friends, music and his iPod distract him. Also, changing the song is a pain for him to do without taking his eyes off the road.

By Jenna Reel