Texting & Driving: Not worth the risk

“On my way, b there soon…”

Don’t let that be that last words said in a text message before your death.

“3,328 people were killed in distraction related crashes” while texting and driving, according to Ed Snyder and Associates. People are constantly drawn into their phones – whether it’s texting, posting, tweeting or surfing the web, it is a constant reminder that we are not aware of what is really going on around us.

According to “DWI: Driving While Intexicated”‘  by Kristin Marino, “In 2011, it’s estimated that at least 23 percent of all car accidents each year involve cell phone use. That’s 1.3 milion crashes.”

Cell phone use on the road is very dangerous not only to yourself, but to others around. Most students rushing to class are already speeding to make it on time, add a missed text message to the mix and that’s an accident waiting to happen.

“I am attached to my phone and while driving, I do text and drive. I have never been in a car accident because of it though, not yet” admits Heather Holmes, a 24 year-old sociology major.

Drivers are not the only people at fault. Pedestrians walking in the crosswalks are guilty of the texting and walking hazard. According to a 2012 texting pedestrian study, researchers from the University of Washington monitored 20 of Seattle’s busiest intersections and observed the following: “Pedestrians who text are four times less likely to look before crossing the street, cross in crosswalks or obey the traffic signals.”

“I have been at the scene of a fatal traffic accident where a pedestrian was walking on the sidewalk looking down at his cell phone and walked into the crosswalk during a red hand signal and was struck by an oncoming semi-truck.” says Dominick Escobedo, 23, Los Angeles School Police Department. “One major factor of traffic collisions is the use of the cell phones or alcohol”

The sight of drivers of all ages glancing down in their laps while in the middle of the intersection is more common now then ever. Look to your right and you will see a driver either texting or not completely alert of their traffic surroundings and this can be found even on the freeways.

Amanda Juarez, a 21 year-old public relations major, said “I don’t text and drive but I’ll occasionally make a hands free call and check my phone at red lights. As for car accidents I have never been in one related to texting.”

Being behind the wheel of a vehicle is a very important responsibility for drivers.  According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, “Texing while driving kills 11 teens each day.” Taking ones eyes of the road for even a second could cost one their life or the life of another. Cell phones are helpful gadgets to have on hand but having it run your life could be dangerous. Whatever the text may be, it can wait.

Don’t text and drive. Your life depends on it.

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