Can The "LOL" Just Wait Till The Stoplight

February 26, 2010
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On December 27, 2007, Earman Machado, a thirteen year-old boy, was struck by a car, thrown from his bike and killed instantly. 17-year-old Vanna Francis and 15-year-old Ronnie Scroggins drowned to death when the driver of their car lost control and swerved into a nearby river. 17-year-old Bailey Goodman’s car caught fire when she passed into oncoming traffic and hit a tractor-trailer. These incidents, although tragic, all have something in common. All these accidents can be traced back to driving while texting.

Over one-third of young adults admit to texting while driving. Despite the dangers, this epidemic is on the rise. According to Edgar Snyder & Associates, “Texting while driving is almost six times more likely to cause an accident than driving under the influence of alcohol.” The likelihood of the previous statement may come as a shock, but this “social norm” is dangerous and irresponsible.

Studies done by the Harvard Center for Risk Analysis have shown that over 333,000 casualties occur each year due to the use of cell phones while driving. “For every 6 seconds of drive time, a driver who is texting spends 4.6 seconds with their eyes off the road,” according to a study done by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institution (VTTI). A similar study revealed that drivers who are texting are 23 percent more likely to be in a car accident.

Texting at the wheel not only presents dangers to the driver, but also to pedestrians. Several people die each year from DWT (Driving While Texting). When someone texts at the wheel, they are endangering the lives of all the pedestrians walking the streets. How would you feel if you hit a little child because you were texting instead of being attentive and watching the road? Was the “LOL” or “OMG” really worth the grief and pain you caused the family of the victim?
Texting while driving is illegal in 14 of the 50 states, but that doesn’t mean that it should be recognized as an okay action in the other 36 states.
Protect yourself. Protect older adults. Protect little children. Help keep the daily commutes safe for everyone and put the cell phone down. Is the risk you put on yourself and others really worth the message you send?

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