Texting and Driving

Many drivers know the law and understand the danger, but continue to text while driving. (MrJasonWeaver/Flicker.com)

Lauren Echols

Eight states including California, Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Oregon and Washington D.C. prohibit all drivers from using handheld cell phones while driving.

In Rancho Santa Margarita you can clearly see the texting while driving law has no effect on people. Almost all the drivers I see on the road have a phone in their hand or they move their hands up and down from road to the phone like a bird pecking away at food. I have noticed that it’s not always teenagers doing the texting like most would believe, but the adults.

A survey by the nationwide insurance company, said 40 percent of American mobile phone owners between the ages of 16 and 30 admitted to composing and sending text messages while driving. According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, 60 percent of teens used their mobile phones while driving, 65 percent of baby-boomers (45-61), 78 percent of the 18-30 age group and 80 percent of the 31-44 age group. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration also said there are 115 road fatalities each day in the United States and distracted driving causes 80 percent of road accident.

Here are some examples of the dangers of driving and texting from students:

William George, 22, engineering:

“It started out as a good day; I was on my way to Saddleback when I came to a red light. I figured since I was stopped for a few minutes I would check my text message. As the light turned green I was still texting. Then all of a sudden I hit the car in front of me. This happened so fast I was stunned and so was the driver. After that I always keep my phone in the glove compartment so I am not tempted.”

Susan Tapia, 43, business communications:

“Driving to work early in the morning, I was checking my Blackberry e-mails and had only taken my eyes off the road for a few seconds when all of a sudden my car ran into something. I slammed on my breaks and realized it was my neighbor’s mailbox. I just couldn’t stop thinking what if that had been a child. I am a parent so the thought of harming another person’s child made me sick. I learned after that day, an e-mail could wait till I am to my destination.”

Megan Soma, 17, nursing:

“All I do is text and what’s really bad is before my accident I would text and drive all the time. I was on a way to my friend’s birthday party when I was texting and trying to drive, when I took a corner too fast, lost control and crashed into a ditch. Luckily I only received a few minor cuts and bruises, my car took most of the damages. It was just a terrible and scary experienced. I have learned that my life is not worth losing over a text.”

After reading what happened to these drivers I hope you realize what a huge distraction your phone can be. When you text and drive you’re not only putting yourself in danger but you’re also putting others in danger as well. What if you’re not so fortunate and instead of hitting an object you hit a person or child? Is a text message you receive really worth a life being lost?

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