Texting and driving is an activity that happens more often than it should. Even as devastating stories and facts increasingly emerge, teenagers and adults don’t seem to be deterred from checking their phones.
According to the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute, a quarter of teens respond to a text message once or more every time they drive. 20 percent of teens and 10 percent of adults admit that they have extended multi-message text conversations while driving.
Although the thought of texting and driving sounds dangerous, most people don’t take it seriously.
Sending or receiving a text message takes a driver’s eyes from the road for an average of 4.6 seconds, which at 55 mph is the equivalent of driving the length of an entire football field, blind, the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute reported.
Just imagine the length of a football field. A person’s whole life can change in a heartbeat, just because they wanted to text “I’ll be there in a min.”
The most recent case that could be found for Washington State alone according to dol.wa.gov occurred in 2010. Heather Lerch, 19, was killed instantly when she struck a guardrail and went into a ditch in Tumwater, Wash., while trying to send a text message.
Grabbing a phone to text a friend, or respond to a text, isn’t worth the life a student is building for their future.
According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 21 percent of drivers 15-19 years old involved in fatal crashes were distracted by the use of cell phones.
More than 20 percent is already too high and needs to be lowered dramatically. There are too many young people losing their lives because of cell phones.
While researching any good things about texting and driving, nothing appeared. Not surprising was the number of websites and books that had the statistics warning of the devastation it can cause.
Maybe someday, people will start saying texting or driving instead of texting and driving.
With holidays just around the corner, accidents happen more often. To avoid another one, cell phones should be silenced while in a car, and not answered unless the vehicle is parked, or the person is no longer driving the vehicle.
The Puyallup Post is the award-winning student news of Pierce College Puyallup in Puyallup, Washington. Copyright The Puyallup Post 2017. Twitter/Instagram @puyalluppost
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