In today’s society, teens almost always have cell phones at hand. This connection has created a mass distraction during one of the most dangerous times: driving. Sending that crucial text can turn into a disaster. According to the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration, “sending or receiving a text takes a driver’s eyes off the road for an average of 4.6 seconds.” That’s the equivalent of driving the length of The Marv at 55 miles per hour.
To the despair of many teens, UA has recently implemented a ban on texting while behind the wheel. The Columbus Dispatch stated that this ban is among the strictest for young adults. If a driver under 18 is caught texting and driving, this action will be treated as a primary offense, meaning a police officer can pull the car over based on the suspicion of texting. As a result, offenders will suffer a 60-day suspension of their drivers’ licenses, as well as pay a $150 fine.
However, this ban is in effect for a variety of tragic and practical reasons. According to Stop Wrecks Stop Texts, a government-affiliated organization, 500,000 teenagers are injured in car accidents each year due to distracted driving. Such driving could be caused by texting, sending a picture, talking on the phone, or browsing a social media page on a screen. One should ask: Is checking that latest tweet worth totaling your car, ending your life or even someone else’s? The threatening situations texting and driving can cause are too common.
Forty percent of teens also admit to being put in danger as passengers when the driver used a cell phone, reports the NHTSA. Those simple texts could drastically alter a teen’s life and future, or the life of someone else on the road.
Even if a teen is texting in a car without other passengers, pedestrians and other drivers become victims of texting and driving. According to the Texting and Driving Safety website, “Teens who text and drive spend at least 10 percent of their time out of their lane.” This time could severely harm a pedestrian, home or public establishment. The danger simply isn’t worth the negative effects in which texting can result while driving.
The texting ban is a positive implementation for the general well-being of the UA community and student body. Texting and driving puts innocent lives on the line. That vital text for Friday night’s plans can wait.