Forget your phone, drivers should be focused on road


Eve Gershon, Features Editor, Business Manager

Pretend you’re reading this article. Now, what just happened in the room in front of you down to the last movement? Missed something? Not sure? Maybe you should have been paying attention. It’s the same when you’re driving. You can’t possible be completely focused on the road if you’re also texting. Don’t believe me? Look at the stats.

According to the National Safety Council, texting and driving leads to 1.6 million crashes each year with nearly 390,000 injuries occurring from the accidents caused. These numbers can’t be ignored. If people simply paid attention to the road while driving and saved the texting for later, so many lives could be saved—so many injuries could be prevented.

One out of every four car accidents is caused by texting and driving, according to Edgar Snyder and Associates. This means that texting while driving is six more times as likely to cause an accident than driving drunk as it causes a 400 percent increase in time that the eyes are off the road. 

The risk just isn’t worth it. And it’s not only about the risk you cause to yourself. I know so many people who say that they don’t care because it’s a risk they are willing to take, but when you are texting and driving, you are not the only person you are putting in danger. The people in the cars around you are taking that risk with you, and they don’t even get a say. Is answering that text really more important than the lives of the family in the car in front of you? If a text is really that consequential, find a safe place to pull over, answer the question and then start driving again. There is no excuse.

Driver’s Alert tells us that the average amount of time a driver takes to type a text is five seconds. For someone driving at 55 mph, that time is equal to driving the length of a football field. Going that kind of distance without paying attention is not safe. In fact, 11 teenagers die every day from texting and driving. I find that fact so depressing. This is something that is so easily avoidable. These are people who had their lives in front of them but lost it all because of a cultural obsession with our phones. Put the phone down, push away any reckless feelings you may have and just drive. Nothing else. Focus only on driving because if you are focused on anything else, you are putting yourself and others in danger. And that’s just ridiculous. 

The thing about texting is you can wait to answer a text, and it will still be there when you get to your destination. There are some things that are worth taking the risk. Replying “Ikr?!” to your friend Judy is not one of them. Driving is dangerous enough without the distractions. We shouldn’t be putting ourselves and our fellow drivers at more of a risk. So the next time you think you are somehow capable of multitasking despite the fact that no one else is, consider the people around you. Consider the fact that no text is worth it. Consider all the life you have in front of you and how easily it could all be thrown away.