It Can Wait.

I am one of many teenagers who have grown up with texting as their main form of communication. In middle school and high school I remember exchanging how many texts we sent a month and being jealous and blown away in disbelief when one would say over 6,000. I know it does not sound possible, but apparently it is. Our society is always communicating with each other whether it is at home, at work, or on the go. However, when someone gets behind the wheel and continues to send texts, tweets, and receive phone calls, they put lives at risk. This is dangerous because the driver is distracted and is not paying attention to the road in front of them. Distracted driving is the number one cause of car accidents, with texting and cell phone use being a major contributor. States need to enact "Hands Free" driving laws to help decrease the number of accidents.

The issue of texting and driving is fast approaching the same level of severity as drinking and driving. In reality, texting and driving drunk is all the same when behind the wheel. In both cases, a driver’s concentration is impaired, and their vision is not on the road; they endanger not only their lives, but also other lives on the road. In AT&T’s campaign against texting and driving they share true stories on how texting has forever changed peoples lives. Here is one commercial they aired:

These commercials are meant to bring us back to reality and for many they do. They prove that bad things really do happen and humans are not invincible; our motto “that would never happen to me” can no longer exist. Where many of us give the excuse of “I have my keyboard memorized” or “I only look away for a few seconds,” these excuses no longer matter when you are driving into on coming traffic or flipping over a median. Yes these sound extreme, but they happen more often than they should.
The task of setting down your cell phone seems so easy that people think that it will not make a big impact on the outcome. However, it might determine in whether you live or not. Unfortunately, even with all the campaigning and showing of cars damaged beyond repair, most people will not set down their cell phone while they are behind the wheel. The January of my senior year of high school, Oregon passed a “hands free” law, prohibiting the use of any cellular device while driving a vehicle. When that law was first passed the police had a busy day in pulling people over who thought the law was not that big of a deal, but to find out, the law mattered once they saw those flashing lights in their rearview mirror. As of 2012, nine states have instated a “Hands Free” law, while others have passed laws prohibiting texting especially to those who are under-age and learning to drive. Then there are some states, where they have yet to pass any sort of law. Except, no matter what age you are, texting while driving is still distracting.  

Pictured above are the remnants of what used to be two cars. The drivers collided head on because the person in the red car was texting while driving. People need to realize the dangers of texting or using your cell phone in general while driving because the accidents caused by texting are completely preventable. I know there are many other causes to distracted driving like loud music, eating or drinking, and even holding a conversation. From experience, I have had to abruptly slam on my breaks to avoid running a red light because I was holding a conversation with a friend and not fully paying attention to the road in front of me. But, you do not hear of people getting into accidents because they were talking to their friend in the passenger side seat. You hear of accidents caused by texting and driving, because it has become such a big problem, and something needs to be done to control the situation.
I know how tempting it is to just send a quick text while behind the wheel. Trust me, I have been there. I understand what goes through your mind of how nothing bad is going to happen. Except, the thing is, you do not know what will happen.  If you do not care what will happen if you text and drive, at least think of the other lives that you will be putting in danger. Or think of your loved ones that might get a call one day, letting them know that you were in an accident that happened because you failed to perform the simple task of putting down your phone while you drove.
To make these types of accidents go away, I firmly believe that the other 41 states need to pass the “Hands Free” law to help cut down on the number of drivers that text, call, or use their phones in general while driving. By passing this law, our drivers will be less distracted; therefore, our roads will be a little safer. I know that you may think, “How can I pass a law?”  The first step is to raise awareness to let people know of the dangers and how they can be stopped. You can personally stop texting while driving and encourage others to do the same, or write letter to your state congressman addressing the issue at hand. It just takes one person to instigate change. Now I would like to propose a challenge to finding a solution for distracted driving one step at a time. 



It is Saturday morning and once I again I woke up at 8:30am. Yes, call me crazy but I seriously can't help it. Since I have to wake up so early during the week that on the weekend there is no use trying to sleep in because my body is, unfortunately, not used to getting large amounts of sleep. So, to pass the time I put in Ingrid Michaelson’s new CD and start jammin' out. Have you listened to it yet? Well you should, because our girl Ingrid has done it once again. She is so amazing that it is a little out of control.  I could listen to her for the rest of forever. You could say that I'm obsessed, but you should probably wipe that judgment off your face because you too have your obsessions. This morning, as I wait for the rest of the world to wake up, I eagerly await for tickets to Ingrid Michaelson’s concert to go on sale promptly at 10am. Then after I have successfully bought my ticket I will of course start counting down the days until April 19th, the day of the concert and the last day of finals. You could say that me buying this ticket is also a gift to myself saying, "Congrats! You've survived freshman year!" Which is a good enough reason for me. As for the rest of the day, I'll still be listening to my girl Ingrid while trying to put off doing my homework. 

It’s just another Saturday. 


ethos, pathos, and logos

To establish my credibility on my topic I inform my readers that I have grown up in the age of texting, alluding to that I know the popularity and how teenagers are addicted to it. Also I have had first- hand experience with texting and driving and the new "hands free" law. I try to establish a somewhat stern voice to let my audience know that I am being very serious about my topic and that I am passionate about it.

{not sure if this works as ethos...}

To connect to my readers emotions, I share a video clip of a true story of a family who lost a loved one because of texting and driving. Also I share pictures of the aftermath of accidents that were caused by texting. In addition, I share personal experiences in hope that my readers have also had similar ones.

I use statistics about texting and driving so that I am not just sharing my opinion. I also try to present reasonable claims that will get the reader thinking and moving.


Claim. Reasons. Assumptions.

Claim: All states should pass a "hands-free" law {no texting and driving}


  • less accidents
  • helps eliminate distractions
  • roads will be safer

Assumption: People want to be safe drivers and except others to do the same.



My topic: Hands free driving

Thesis:  Distracted driving is the number one cause of car accidents, with texting and cell phone use being a major contributor, states need to enact "Hands Free" driving laws to help decrease the number of accidents.

Warning: My thesis is subject to major change.



What to write about....what to write about....

I am the type of person who always agrees with points from both sides, which in a lot of situations isn't very helpful at all. Except that doesn't mean I don't have an opinion, but it is usually an opinion that not a lot of people also have. There are occasions where I have a very strong opinion. For example, poverty, I believe strong in setting up government programs to help those in need to make a decent living so that they can support themselves and not rely on others. Also to improve education programs encouraging kids who do come from lower income families that they still have every opportunity open to them.

But there is another issue that has caught my attention in the last year. Texting and driving. I think it was two years ago now, Oregon passed a law making texting while driving illegal. Which I am very grateful for because people who are text while behind the wheel might as well be drunk. As they are not concentrated on the road and clearly don't care about the safety of others and themselves. I think that other states should too look into passing a law that puts consequences to texting and driving.

I like brainstorms because it makes me realize how interested I am in one topic or the other.



I'm Tess. 

I call myself a proud Oregonian and will always call Portland home no matter where I live. I am currently surviving my 1st year in college and so far I have successfully avoided pulling an all-nighter. I enjoy finding hole in the wall eateries, trashy magazines, the oregon coast, vintage clothing, the rain, hot chocolate, acting like a total goof ball, flower crowns, volunteering, and watching too much netflix.  
One day I dream of having my own non-profit and traveling the world helping people in need. There is no reason why we who have been given so much in life, should not go out and help those who are less fortunate. Here is to going after your dreams and letting nothing stand in your way.