It never ceases to amaze me. I’m stopped at a red light behind several cars, in a hurry to get to school. The light turns green, but we stay still. The pissed off drivers in front of me lay on their horns, so I join in on the fun and give some intimidating honks from my mom’s minivan. I like to take any chance I can get to honk at people, and I’m still on the horn after the cars start rolling. I knew immediately the driver at the head of the pack was distracted by something, whether it was a cell phone or their astonishing reflection in the rear view. It sounds obvious, but when I drive, I focus on driving. I’ve heard plenty of stores of parents losing their children after they decided to snapchat and drive. No way will I put myself and others at that kind of risk. A recent incident really opened my eyes to the issue—or maybe it was the blinding high beams moving towards me.
I was up late at the library, with a ton of work to finish. After I left, I thought my night couldn’t possibly get worse, unaware of what was to come. What more could I want from an already stressful night than almost getting pummeled by an idiotic driver with a phone in his hand. I walked to the crosswalk by my dorm and waited for the bright green pedestrian to pop up, signifying my right of way to cross the road. I thought nothing of the car facing me, waiting to turn left through the crosswalk. Even though it was the middle of the night, he’d see me with the aid of streetlights and his headlights (I’m not that small). That’s assuming he was looking at the road in the first place. The green pedestrian appeared and I stepped into the crosswalk, as the car shot towards me. I stopped, and the driver hit the brakes after finally seeing what he should have been aware of all along. I peered through his window and saw the menacing bright light, the cause of thousands of hospital visits, the bane of modern existence. His eyes were fixed on mine, and they tried to pretend like the phone didn’t exist. I was face to face with one of my greatest pet peeves. My mother wouldn’t be proud of the words I flung at the driver, but I was flustered. Various hand gestures also expressed my feelings, as other drivers looked at me like I was mentally insane. I think I was justified; I had almost been hit by a car. This situation fueled my frustration with texting and driving. Of course, nobody is perfect, and I have also made the stupid decision to look at my phone while driving.
The morning was perfectly normal. My little sister and I got ready for school, dreading the day ahead of us. As usual, my mom said, “Be careful driving!” as we rushed out the door. Mr. Keith Arnao, the master driver, the expert on wheels, couldn’t possibly make a mistake on the road. Everything was rolling smoothly, until I made the stellar decision to pull out my phone and turn on music. In between the split-second glances at my phone, I started to veer to the right side of the road. A loud THUNK had both of my feet on the brakes in an instant, and the high-pitched shriek from my sister blew open my ear drums. I looked in the rearview mirror, expecting to see some poor kid flailing on his back like an upside-down turtle. Thankfully, there was only a mailbox post with no mailbox. I exhaled a sigh of relief, called my parents, and drove to school (my mom reimbursed the confused family later). I got lucky. I could have been one of the kids who never got to drive again.
Texting and driving is completely avoidable and should be done under no circumstances. Seeing all the accidents that have occurred in the past has made me realize how one glance can ruin lives. When you are driving, you don’t need to find out what type of liquor you are on a Facebook quiz or ask your friend what their favorite animal is or post a picture on Instagram. You need to focus on the task at hand and drive. Cell phones have become too much of a distraction in our society, and texting and driving must be resolved.