The use of cellphones while driving is an epidemic, especially among teenagers. According to a study, one in four car accidents are caused by cellphone use. As cellphones and social media become more and more ingrained in our culture, this issue continues to grow. This past week, a teenager in California was driving with her sister in the front passenger seat and two other teenagers in the back. Her name is Obdulia Sanchez and she is 18 years old. Sanchez was recording a live stream Instagram video on her phone and was not paying attention to the road in front of her. Her car veered off the road, fell down a bank, and was flipped over. Her sister was killed in the crash and the two other teenagers were critically injured. Sanchez is now awaiting trial.
The events of this story are shocking and sad. An innocent teenager lost her life because her sister was paying more attention to her phone than the road. These kinds of accidents should not happen, but they continue to happen more and more. The most shocking part about this story is Sanchez’s response to the entire incident. She claims that recording videos while driving is not uncommon. In fact, she said that her and her friends do it all the time, as if it is “an impulse.” This is a very scary idea to accept. If most teenagers behave like Sanchez when behind the wheel, all drivers are in serious danger.
Stories like this one are the reason why teenagers are charged higher insurance premiums than anyone else. At the age of 18, young men and women still have a lot of developing to do. Not all of them, but most of them do not fully grasp the dangerous reality that is driving a car on a public road. As a society, we need to do a better job of teaching our youth the importance of practicing safe driving. Specifically, we need to make sure that cellphones are never used while driving. Too many people die each year because of drivers checking their facebook page, making calls, sending text messages, etc.
As this epidemic continues to grow, certain companies have taken steps to help solve the problem. There are services that will make teenagers smarter behind the wheel by monitoring and controlling their cellphone usage while driving. There is a company called CellControl, which consists of a smartphone app that connects to your vehicle. So, when your engine is turned on, you are not able to access your phone, other than to make emergency calls. Using these kinds of services will help bring down the cost of your auto insurance premiums. If you have a teenage driver listed in your policy, you should consider all safety measures. They will keep your auto insurance premiums from rising, but more importantly, save lives.