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.