Texing While Driving

By , Hartville, OH
What would you do if someone you loved or cared about was killed in a car accident and texting was involved? Would you lash out in retaliation or would you vow to never text and drive again? Texting while behind the wheel of a car can be dangerous for you or your friends. An estimated 20% of drivers have sent or received text messages while behind the wheel of the car. In some states, texting while driving is illegal and many other states closely follow with legislation against the dangerous act. As teens, this law would increase the chance of lowering the driving ages, insurance costs would go down because we are less of a liability, and our parents would trust us more to drive safely somewhere. Texting is one of the most dangerous acts that someone can perform behind the wheel of a car. We need to know our facts about the laws about texting and driving, understand the consequences of our actions, and act upon our knowledge and understanding.

In a poll of teenagers, nearly 50% of teenage drivers admitted to texting and driving at least once and an astonishing 66% text and drive when they are in the car alone. Contrary to popular belief, texting and driving is not just a problem for teens. Almost 22% of adults between the ages of 35-44 also admitted to texting while behind the wheel of a car. However, we as teens must actively work to change that behavior; nine out of ten American adults believe texting while driving is dangerous and distracting. Reading these facts is frightening; think of how many people you see everyday texting and driving. Just imagine that you look down for five seconds and during that time, someone cuts you off and then slams on his/her brakes. Do you know who is going to get the ticket? You will! Due to your “inability” to keep a safe distance, and inexperience; you will the driver mostly likely to lose your license.

Just think, is one text worth the life of you and your friends? A small suburb of Rochester, New York can testify to that question. On June 28, 2007, the families of five recent high school graduates were killed when their SUV slammed head on into a truck coming the other direction. Records from the driver’s cell phone indicate that the SUV’s driver was using her cell phone to call and text friends. The record also indicates she was speeding, at night, on a winding road. The same distraction, texting, caused another incident, this one in daylight, but the results were different. The accident occurred in Lutz, Florida. At a stoplight sat a highway patrol officer sat as he waited for the light to change, but a distracted teen driver that had ditched school with some friends hit the unfortunate officer. She was texting and not paying attention to the red light or the officer. She plowed into the car, deployed her front two airbags and cause 3,000 dollars in damage. ____

We, as teens, need to become more conscientious about the responsibility of our decision to text and drive. Only two states openly banned the dangerous act, while sixteen other states including Ohio, New York, and West Virginia are working on legislation against it. Currently five states have banned the use of cell phones while driving; twenty-four have thought about the same legislation. As teens, we could, sign a contract between us, our parents, and our insurance company that states that we will not use our cell phones while we drive. If we must to use them, we will pull over and text safely.

Texting while driving is one of the most dangerous things that you could do. Knowing the laws, understanding the consequences, and using our knowledge are one of the most important things that we could do. As teens, knowing the facts and knowing what could happen if we text and drive will lead to fewer accidents involving us. Hearing the stories and seeing the crash videos on the news should move us to make better decisions. Believing an accident will not happen to us is a false sense of reality. The possibility of killing our best friend, a complete stranger, or ourselves should be enough for us to want to make a good decision. The thought of living with the knowledge that you killed someone should compel all drivers, not just teens, to sign an agreement to stop texting and driving. Law enforcement already has a tough enough job with accidents, but making them drive upon a scene where there are dead teenagers due to texting is unconscionable. The question then comes to, are you willing to stand up for what may not seem like a dangerous thing? Will you follow the laws? Will you be the police officer for your car?





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