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Opinion

Texting and driving should stop, says student

6/27/2013 - South Side Leader
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By Letter to the Editor

To the editor:

According to Wikipedia, the increase in popularity of mobile devices has had some unintended and even dangerous consequences. We now know that mobile communications are linked to a significant increase in distracted driving, resulting in injury and loss of life. The practice has been viewed by many people and authorities as dangerous. It has also been ruled as the cause of some motor vehicle accidents, and in some places has been outlawed or restricted.

Of all cell phone related tasks, including talking, dialing or reaching for the phone, texting while driving is the most dangerous. Although many teens feel that it is okay to do this, any text can wait. No text is worth killing someone else or even losing your own life. It has been researched that people from the ages of 16 to 25 are more likely to do this than any other age group. 

According to Texting and Driving Statistics, these are some responses to a survey that was taken at Gadsden City High [School]: “I see nothing wrong with it.” “I feel texting and driving is okay at speeds less than 45 [mph].” “I believe texting while driving should be legal because an accident can happen many ways (changing the radio or talking) so why not make changing the radio illegal. I think it’s stupid to give tickets for texting.”

According to Wikipedia, Liberty Mutual Insurance Group conducted a survey of more than 90 teens from more than 26 high schools nationwide in 2006. The results showed that 37 percent of students considered texting to be “very” or “extremely” distracting. A study by the American Automobile Association discovered that 46 percent of teens admitted to being distracted behind the wheel because of texting. Forty percent of all American teens say they have been in a car when the driver used a cell phone in a way that put people in danger, according to a Pew survey. Eleven percent of drivers aged 18-20 who were involved in an automobile accident and survived admitted they were sending or receiving texts when they crashed.

As you can see texting and driving is ridiculous, and I recommend that all teens stop now because of how dangerous it is.

The Virginia Tech Transportation Institute found that text messaging creates a crash risk 23 times worse than driving while not distracted. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that in 2010, driver distraction was the cause of 18 percent of all fatal crashes, with 3,092 people killed, and crashes resulting in an injury, with 416,000 people wounded. Reading or sending a text diverts the driver’s eyes from the road for an average of 4.6 seconds, the same as driving the length of a football field, blind, at 55 mph.

Clearly the evidence is there that texting and driving is a bad thing. Distracted driving endangers life and property, and the current levels of injury and loss are unacceptable. Just like in the story in the Bible when Peter starts walking on water towards Jesus, Jesus represents the road. When Peter had his eyes on him, he was okay. But as soon as he looked away, he started to sink, just as we start to waver when we take our eyes off the road.

Christian Gambol, seventh-grader, Lake Center Christian School

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