UNITED STATES—It has been said time and time again, driving is a privilege not a guarantee, yet so many people think they have a ‘right’ to be behind the wheel of a car. I recall vividly the days of taking driver’s education after school. We were shown those videos of how dangerous driving under the influence can be.

We were taught how dangerous taking those eyes off the road for just a few second can be. Distracted drivers are such a big issue nowadays because so many people have forgotten that when you’re behind the wheel, the focus needs to be on the road. Nowadays, there are so many distractions behind the wheel, it’s hard to fathom why more accidents don’t happen on the road.

Considering that April is ‘Distracted Driving’ month I think it’s only fitting to discuss things that need to be taken a bit more seriously when driving a vehicle. For starters, let’s talk about that pesky cell phone. This device which has encompassed the lives of nearly every American, from the very young to the very old, is a major proponent that results in many crashes on the road.

So many people think it’s no big deal to talk on the cell phone and drive a vehicle; it’s not! Why? Focus can easily be lost. I mean I work from my home office at times, and I have trouble speaking on my office phone while tackling other tasks. In the midst of conversations, things can get heated or in rare situations one can be delivered bad news that causes you to lose focus.

Driving a car requires 100 percent focus; just a minor distraction can lead to a collision that can result in death changing the lives of not only the driver, but those injured. Now, the big news is that texting while behind the wheel has become such a trend that people do it as if its second nature, especially teens. There is a reason so many fatal car crashes occur at the hands of a teen behind the wheel: they’re inexperienced drivers and they haven’t realized that driving a vehicle is NO JOKE!

When you text, you have to take your eye off the road. You can’t send a text without looking at your phone. Just the mere glance of reading a text while behind the wheel is distracting, now imagine if you are driving the vehicle and attempting to send a text. Your focus is off the road, you don’t have full control of the wheel and that places so many lives at risk. Teenagers think they’ve develop the skill to do so, but even warning them of countless incidents where collisions have occurred because someone was texting or even reading a text still is not a wake-up call for them.

I’ve gotten to the point that I try to not even send a text to people, when I KNOW they’re driving. I don’t want to have to live with that guilt of knowing that a text I sent a person who was driving resulted in a crash that may have killed someone or killed someone I care about. In this week alone, I’ve seen two crazy things while behind the wheel. I get that people like to sometimes eat behind the wheel or have a sip of coffee or a bottle of water, but I think that is better reserved when you are waiting at a red light or once the vehicle has come to a complete stop. Some are able to juggle the task at hand, but imagine if that cup of hot coffee spills or that slice of pizza you’re eating slips out of your hands. You will indeed lose control of your vehicle for a moment and that is all it takes.

I mean I could fathom the things I’ve seen behind the wheel: people reading books, watching TV or a movie on an iPad, and who the hell has a dog in their lap while holding onto the steering wheel. Now, that is just crazy! Seriously what the hell are you reading a book, watching TV or holding onto a dog when you drive? Distracted driving is such a problem I witnessed an accident because someone ran a stop sign.

Flew right past it as if it wasn’t even there! Probably the result of distracted driving, what made the situation worse was after colliding with the other vehicle, the car speed off from the scene of a crash. Thankfully, the patrons in the other vehicle weren’t seriously injured and reported the vehicle to the cops, but who knows if the culprits will be caught.

Issues revolving around ‘Distracted Driving’ are much more serious than many Americans made. Simply put, when you get behind the wheel, the focus needs to be on the road, ensure that you’re driving at a safe speed and watching the road at all times for any possible situations that can lead to serious or deadly results.