Letters to the Editor – Matthew W. Schoen

Challenges for Teen Drivers

While we all know it is a privilege to have a driver’s license and that we have a responsibility to drive safely in our communities, it’s so easy nowadays to be distracted. It’s easy to forget that eating, reaching down to grab an item that has fallen on the floor, playing with the radio, or answering a phone call can all be causes of terrible, deadly crashes.

The biggest distraction, however, involves a piece of technology that a majority of teen drivers have in their pockets throughout the day – the digital mobile device that allows us to communicate in a multitude of ways in very short time periods. This is an excellent tool, but can be a cause of extreme danger if used while driving. Over the past several years, a large number of car crashes in our communities have occurred due to the fact that drivers are more and more distracted while driving. This is common with our young drivers, as they are the age group with the highest percentage of mobile device usage.

I encourage all drivers of all ages, but especially our young drivers, to remind themselves not to use a mobile device in any way while they are driving a motor vehicle. It literally takes less than a second for a distraction to cause a crash that may result in serious injury or death. These types of crashes are completely avoidable if we just change our behavior while driving. This has become a national issue that has resulted in the loss of too many lives in our own communities over the past several years. Please take the pledge, not only to refrain from texting while driving, but take the pledge not to be distracted in any way while driving your motor vehicle. This truly will save and change lives in our community on a daily basis, especially for our young drivers.

Matthew W. Schoen, Ed. S. Superintendent of Delano Public Schools and Board Member of Safe Communities of Wright County 700 Elm Avenue East Delano MN 55328

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