Monday, July 23, 2012

Put Down ur Phone b4 It’s 2 l8

I was trying to put this in the local paper but that didn't work out so here it is:


These days the airwaves are constantly lighting up with text messages that are filled with “lol”, “omg”, “brb”, and a whole plethora of other shortened words and phrases that most adults never understand. And they have so many features that they rival a computer most of the time. All of these things about cell phones are amazing regardless of your age. But sometimes cell phones can be a dangerous thing, especially if you’re texting while driving.

Don’t believe me? Well listen to this. According to a 2009 report from the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, “Five seconds is the average time your eyes are off the road while texting. When traveling at 55mph, that’s enough time to cover the length of a football field”. Those numbers could’ve changed from 2009 to now but it’s still something to think about. Driving distracted is not a good thing. It’s highly dangerous and I’m pretty sure that you don’t want to get into a crash and possibly total your car; all because you were texting while driving.

Here’s something a little more recent to think about. A report from a few years ago from the American Automobile Association and Seventeen Magazine states that “An online survey of 1,999 teens ages 16-19 found that 86% had driven while distracted even though 84% know it’s dangerous.” Teenagers really are smart people most of the time and they know texting and driving is wrong. Yet some do it anyway and that’s one frame of mind that’s not safe for the roads.

In Washington State it is prohibited to talk on the phone while driving and I see people texting and talking on the phone while driving all the time including students from my own school, which I find extremely sad. Teenagers should keep in mind that they could pay a hefty fine for using their phone while driving. The more deadly consequence of a teen using their phone while driving is that they could get into a crash and get seriously injured. Or they could die. Harsh to see I know, but dying at this young of age is not something that can be taken lightly. It can cause friends and family heartache and sadness for a long time.

If a teen can’t handle not using their phone in the car, there are some helpful tips to reduce the number of distracted driving. Aptly named, the website stoptextsstopwrecks.org recommends several good tips that both teens, and adults, should use. One of these tips is that once you’re in your car put your phone in a place where you won’t be tempted to look for it, because then you wouldn’t be using it. Another tip is to pick your favorite app and download it before you start driving and forget about it so you can focus on keeping your car on the road.

Texting is really fun, but doing it while driving is a serious safety hazard; not only for the person texting but also for the other drivers and pedestrians around them. So think really hard about your phone and make a healthy decision on whether or not it belongs in your hands while you drive.