It’s time to stop texting and driving
Everyone knows the dangers of texting while driving, but a recent survey revealed that nearly half of the teenagers who took the survey admit that they have done it anyway.
Three quarters of teenagers who took the survey also admit that it is common among their friends, and reported that their parents text at nearly the same rate as they do while driving.
According to the official U.S. government website for distracted driving, “Key Fact and Statistics,” sending or receiving a text takes a driver’s eyes from the road for an average of 4.6 seconds, the equivalent of driving the length of an entire football field blindfolded at 55 miles per hour.
Using a cell phone while driving delays your reaction time as much as having a blood alcohol concentration of .08, the legal limit for drunk driving, the website states.
Consumer Reports said its own survey showed that while eight in 10 teens said they knew the risks, some 29 percent of drivers ages 16-21 had text messaged while driving in the past month.
With texting as teens’ main mode of communication these days, at an average rate of more than 3,400 per month, according to Nielson research, the implications are alarming.
Earlier this month, a Massachusetts teenager was convicted on charges of vehicular homicide, texting while driving and negligent operation of a motor vehicle. A jury found him guilty of killing a man in a car crash while he was texting.
His punishment for the crime was 2 1/2 years for the vehicular homicide charge, and two years on the texting and causing injury charge. Oh, and his driver’s license will be suspended for 15 years.
A man’s life is gone, his passenger’s life will never be the same and the teenager has to spend years in prison followed by another 15 years of not being able to drive.
And for what? Texting.
Drivers — young and old alike — need to realize that driving is a privilege that carries great responsibility. Anything that distracts from the task at hand is risky business. You’re risking the lives of other motorists and you’re risking your own life.
When you are on the road, you have everyone’s life in your hands. So put down the phone and stop texting.
It will save lives — even your own.