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Texting While Driving

Dec. 2, 2015
By TAYLOR HOTELLING

We teens in today’s society all know that our cellphones and social media are our best friends.  We couldn’t possibly function without them.  Most teens carry around their phone wherever they go and barely ever put them down.  But when it comes to driving, there must be an exception.
Most if not all people between the ages of 12 and 18 have cell phones.  Sometimes you’ll even see a 9 or 10 year old with a phone, and you think, how could a kid so young even understand what a cellphone is?

About 34% of teens have confessed to texting and driving, while about 52% have confessed to speaking on a cellphone while driving.  Although numbers in texting/calling while driving have dropped drastically, it is still a very pressing issue that needs to continue to be discussed. (http://www.teendriversource.org/stats/support_teens)

Now, you may think this is all bogus.  You’ve done it before, and you have been fine.  About 77% of teens say it is safe enough and 55% of teens say it is quite easy to text while driving.  Although teens seem to feel invincible against everything, an accident can happen at any moment and completely change, or maybe even end your life. (http://www.textinganddrivingsafety.com/texting-and-driving-stats)

A young man named John Breen got into a car accident because of texting while driving on March 15th, 2009. His mother shares that her son thought he was invincible. “He was 23, a United States Marine and he was about ready to deploy to Afghanistan.  He was willing to sacrifice his life for our country. It wasn’t war that took JB away from us.  It wasn’t a bullet or a bomb.  It was a text message sent on a little 2” x 4” box that ended his life on a beautiful Sunday afternoon.”

JB left behind his little 2-year-old daughter, countless, friends, and his parents.  Everyone misses JB terribly, and would do anything for him to have just put his phone down and waited until he stopped driving to text someone. (http://www.textinganddrivingsafety.com/texting-and-driving-stories)

Not only can you hurt yourself, but also you can even injure the person you hit by simply not paying attention.  A woman named Megan D. shares that her little nephew was killed in a car accident, because another person was texting and not paying attention, hitting their car and killing her small, helpless nephew.  “My godson, Enzo Williams, recently died in a car accident, he was 6 months old and 15 days old.  They were waiting to turn left at a red light and the driver who hit them was texting and not paying attention.”
(http://www.textinganddrivingsafety.com/texting-and-driving-stories

Because of one person’s careless mistake, someone’s life can be stolen from him or her in a matter of seconds.  Putting your phone down for however long you are traveling should be worth keeping someone else alive.

As soon as you feel the need to call or text someone while driving, think about the consequences that may follow that one decision. Think twice about putting yourself, and others, in danger.

 

Did you know that research tells us that teens have the reaction time of a 70-year-old when distracted while driving? Crash risk is four times higher when a driver uses a cellphone while driving, whether it is hands-free or not. Being distracted significantly reduces a driver’s capability to have their full attention on the road, respond to traffic events, and control a vehicle.

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Here are some tips to avoid the temptation of being on your phone while driving:

  1. Hide Your Phone:  If your phone is stored away in your backpack or pocketbook and would take too long to find, you are more likely to just wait until you get to your destination.
  2. Turn Your Phone Off: Turning your phone off will prevent you from being distracted by any notifications.  Putting your phone on silent is not enough, because even seeing the screen flash with your best friend’s name can be tempting to answer.
  3. Let the Passenger Text:  If your text notification goes off while driving, give your phone to a friend and have them be the ones who answer whoever is texting you, letting them know you are driving and will get back to them as soon as possible.

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