The Dangers of Texting and Driving

By Morgan Arevalo- Guest Writer

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, approximately nine people are killed and more than 1,000 are injured daily in the United States due to distracted driving. 1 in every 4 car accidents in the United States is caused by texting while driving. According to CBS news, 98 percent of drivers who own cellphones and text regularly said they were aware of the dangers, yet 75 percent of them admitted to texting while driving. These statistics are frightening, and they should serve as a wake up call. Most people develop this terrible habit by texting at red lights and/or at stop signs. As society becomes more and more technology based, people will continue to have access to almost everything at their fingertips, allowing them to misjudge how long it actually takes to send out a text or email. Just when texting while driving could not sound any worse, the group of people who are most likely to be affected by it are teens. According to Scholastic News, “Drivers age 25 and under are two to three times more likely than older drivers to send text messages or emails out while driving.” As a matter of fact, teen drivers have a 400% higher chance of being in a car crash while driving than adults. Ray Lahood, Secretary of U.S Transportation, says, “Young people think they are so invincible. They think that nothing can happen to them and we know the statistics don’t bear that out.” Currently 44 states have banned texting while driving, including Georgia, to try and stop this issue. However, texting while driving continues to be one of the leading causes of death, as it has been for years. How can we change this devastating statistic? Many studies indicate that the best way to prevent texting while driving is for the driver to put the phone out of his or her reach. It is also advised to block incoming calls and texts or to turn the phone off completely (or to place on silent if using for navigation purposes.) While all distractions from driving can be very dangerous, texting while driving has become the most life threatening.  Drivers are not only risking our own lives, but the lives of others if they don’t put their phones down while behind the wheel. The texts, the calls, the emails… they can wait.