Deadly Driving: Why Phones and the Car Don't Mix
Melissa • OLD BRIDGE, NJ
Old Bridge High School
Deadly Driving: Why Phones and the Car Don’t Mix
Handheld devices should be banned while driving. Texting while driving is the leading cause of deaths in teenagers in the U.S. When a person looks at a text message while driving, his or her attention is taken away from the road for a minimum of 5 seconds. If the vehicle is travelling 55 miles per hour, this equals driving the length of one football field without looking at the road. Text messaging while driving makes a person twenty-three times more likely to crash. 55% of young adult drivers claim that it’s easy to text and drive and 77% of young adult drivers feel confident in their “abilities” to navigate a car while texting. These statistics speak for themselves. Last Christmas, in my hometown, a nineteen-year-old boy died because he was texting while driving. He was on his way to his shift at Staples when he pulled onto a major highway and hit the divider. He was killed instantly. I’m sure everyone directly or indirectly knows someone who was affected by another person texting while driving. It is something that is so easily preventable. We’ve all seen the ads on TV, showing the siblings, parents and friends talking about their dead loved one and how they were killed reading a text. Why don’t these commercials have an effect on teenagers anymore? Why do people of all ages continually put themselves, their passengers as well as those travelling in other vehicles, at risk of serious injury or death by picking up their phones? Is any text message really worth losing a life? And something even more shocking: One out of every five drivers of all ages confesses to surfing the web while driving. What could possibly be so important on Twitter or Facebook that a person can’t wait the extra time it takes to get from one place to the next before picking up their phone? Texting while driving is quickly becoming the country’s top killer. From the National Safety Council: Texting while driving causes 1,600,000 accidents per year. It causes 330,000 injuries per year according to the Harvard Center for Risk Analysis Study. Unfortunately, the statistics don’t seem to be having an effect on drivers today. My personal opinion is that there should be a law everywhere prohibiting cell phone use while driving, with very serious consequences for people who do not comply.