As I have mentioned in past blog posts, I work for my high school’s student-run newspaper. This semester, I serve as the Production Editor and write for the Opinion section. Our first issue of the semester comes out next Thursday…here is the article I wrote on how much texting while driving sucks:
“Texting While Driving Sucks”
(official title to be determined)
You twiddle your fingers on the steering wheel while sitting in your brand new Lexus on the intersection between Candy Lane and Cellular Drive*. The red light has not changed for two whole minutes, and you are growing impatient.
Suddenly, a loud ding! causes your heart to skip a few beats. You scramble around your pocket, pull out that must-have Blackberry and look up just in time to catch a glimpse of the green-glowing stoplight signaling Go.
Before pressing down on the gas pedal, you glance at the phone and notice a text that your BFF Sally sent, asking you about your last cruise to the Bahamas. Um, there is no question about it. You HAVE to text her back. Now. Never mind that this particular intersection is one of the dangerous ones in town. Never mind that you witnessed a car accident only last week, which caused you to be late for school. I mean, who wouldn’t want to break their neck from texting while driving?
If you are that typical driver described above, you are a part of the 60 percent of teenagers who text while driving, according to a survey performed by Toluna in 2009. Congratulations. Texting while driving has been the most popular driving distraction in the 2000 era and it is still going strong. I personally cannot drive yet, so I have not had the pleasure to experience the apparently addictive habit of pushing buttons frantically while trying to keep my eye on the road at the same time. Quite frankly, I imagine that would be an extremely uncomfortable task. I am not at all against multi-tasking, but I would definitely rather wait to fiddle with my phone than risk breaking my neck.
Beginning in December 1, 2009, North Carolina passed new legislation prohibiting the act of texting while driving for drivers of all ages, not just teenagers. Those who are caught in the act must pay a 100 dollar fine as well as additional court fees.
Personally, I am glad for the new law. I have been getting tired of my mom randomly swerving and stopping the car unexpectedly at various intersections and turns because some genius decided to stare at his recently received text message instead of the road.
The bottom line is, texting while driving is a risk that may harm yourself as well as other drivers and even pedestrians. I do not think you want any injuries inflicted upon your fellow citizens any more than you want them inflicted on yourself.
Although most people would think that highways are the most dangerous roads for potential accidents, parking lots have much higher risks for motor vehicle collisions because cars are constantly backing in and out of parking lots and people are walking to and from designated shops. Nothing would make a dinner date sweeter than a big car crash in the heart of Olive Garden’s parking lot as a result of texting distractions.
Not only is it against the law and dangerous, but it is also just plain rude. Honestly, no wonder that guy flicked you off the other day. Call him inappropriate, discourteous, violent or a number of any other synonyms for the word “rude,” but consider the fact that his gesture may have been the only thing to catch your undivided attention.
If you have read thus far and still believe that texting is your number one to-do no matter where or when you are driving, by all means go ahead and whip out your phone to text Sally back or die trying.
*Street names were replaced to protect privacy.