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  • Writer's pictureKathryn Stagg

Could TikTok Prevent Distracted Driving?

Hand holding smartphone that is open to the TikTok app
Photo by Solen Feyissa on Unsplash

TikTok, the highly addictive social media app, can be a big source of distraction for drivers, especially young ones who are the largest pool of the app’s users and who increasingly document large parts of their lives for their followers. But that doesn’t mean that TikTok can’t be a source of good when it comes to the fight against distracted driving.

An article in In The Know has documented a recent trend on the app where users are talking openly about one way they are making an effort to be safer when behind the wheel. TikTokers posting about the tip call it a “music time-out,” and it’s exactly what it sounds like.

TikTokers have been sharing their stories about how listening to music while driving has put them in dangerous situations and made them rethink their behavior, including giving themselves a time out when it comes to playing music while they're driving.

A lot of people find it more enjoyable and relaxing to drive while listening to music, but with music options having moved to apps for a lot of young drivers, finding the right song or playlist means using their phone. Users on Tiktok having been sharing stories about the times they’ve almost gotten into deadly accidents because they were looking for or changing a song or playlist on an app like Spotify or Apple Music.

“Using a phone while driving, such as sending a quick text, looking down to read a text or even queuing up your favorite song, can involve all three forms of distracted driving, which is why it can be particularly dangerous.”

Every second that your eye is off the road and on your phone is a second where you put yourself and others in serious danger. A second or two might not seem like much time, but accidents happen in mere seconds. Every second a vehicle is travelling several feet of distance, and when travelling at speed, maneuvers from other drives take mere seconds too.

Distracted driving is no small problem – it claims thousands of lives every year. In the United States, there has been an attempt in a number of states to address the problem by imposing stricter rules around the use of technology while driving.

“Some states have taken initiatives to try to curb distracted driving and phone use. For instances, in June, Michigan banned using phones or other mobile devices entirely while driving, including at red lights and stop signs. Michigan joins a growing list of now 34 states that ban the use of handheld devices while operating a car.”

Young TikTok users, sharing their content with hundreds, thousands, and sometimes even millions of followers, could help spread the word about the dangers of distracted driving by sharing their own experiences and by normalizing safe practices like limiting or eliminating the use of their phones entirely while driving.

With TikTok being one of the biggest platforms in the world, and one of the largest pastimes of young people are especially likely to get into accidents as a result of distracted driving, let’s hope this trend doesn’t let up anytime soon.

For more on this story, check out the original article in In the Know by Yahoo by Chaunie Brusie.


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