Driving Responsibility

Allie Coats, Staff Writer

Driving is a privilege not a right. The National Safety Council found that

texting is the cause of 1,600,000 accidents per year, 330,000 injuries per year, and

11 teen deaths everyday. These numbers feel far off, and fake. Somehow that

number doesn’t affect us emotionally, instead just makes us feel numb. However,

take a look around the classroom, and the eleven people next to you could all die

today due to an automobile accident.

The worst part is that we all know better. We all know that texting kills. We

sat through endless Drivers Ed videos, where the teacher started the video by

passing a tissue box around. We’ve watched the commercials, read the news stories,

we know people in our life who have been in car accidents. But we won’t put down

our phones, we won’t wait the 10, 15 minutes to reply. We decide that we are above

the statistics, better than them, or maybe we think we can handle it. But has anyone

stopped to consider we’re all risking? Not just our lives, or the lives of everyone in

our car. No the damage would go farther. It would affect everyone on the road with

you right now, and all of their families and friends.

There is an easy fix. Put down your phone. Listen to your radio instead of to

your phone, because even looking down to simply change a song distracts you for at

least five seconds. According to Do Something.org driving at 55 mph, and looking at

your phone for five seconds means that you would have driven more than the

distance of a football field without looking at the road. And this is only if the song

change goes according to plan, what if your phone doesn’t read your finger-print, or

the song you want doesn’t come on, how many football fields have you driven now?

Texting and Driving Safety took a poll and found that 34% of Americans

admit to texting while driving, of those 77% believe that they can safely text while

driving, and 55% claim that it’s easy to text and drive. However, the average teen

who texts will spend 10% of their driving time outside their lane. This doesn’t sound

like that much until that 10% is quickly approaching your lane as you are driving

next to the cool guy with his phone out. Don’t stress it though he’s confident that he

can safely text and drive.