Texting and Driving- A Deadly Combination
On average, drivers take their eyes off the road for 5 seconds when they are texting. If they are driving at 55 mph, that’s enough time to cover a football field’s length! A lot can happen in the short amount of time. Although you probably feel like you are being safe when using your cell phone in the car, the risk of an accident definitely increases. Studies have shown that a texting driver is 23 times more likely to get in a crash than a non-texting driver.
I am surprised at the amount of people who do not know that using a cell phone while driving is illegal in Oregon. There are recent laws that have banned texting, talking on the phone while driving without using a hands-free device. Yet, for those under 18, it’s illegal to talk even with using speakerphone or Bluetooth. The current fine for being distracted while driving is around $250 dollars! There is also a bill facing the senate and if it passes, the fines will increase to over a thousand dollars! I guess it goes to show how serious of a problem our government thinks this is. It is probably because 21% of all traffic accidents are a result of being distracted by a cell phone while driving. These aren’t some ‘dumb rules’ that limit your freedom, they are laws to keep you and others around you safe.
How can you be sure to keep yourself and other focused while in the car? If you’re driving and know that you are prone to read or respond to a text message, just turn off your phone whenever you get in the car. This way, you won’t even be tempted to pick it up! If you are in a car with a driver who is distracted by their cell phone, don’t be afraid to confront them. Warn them of the dangers of using a phone on the road! If they refuse to put down their cell phone, it is disrespecting their life and the lives of the passengers. You shouldn’t drive with someone who doesn’t value your life. It is important to realize the power that you hold when driving a car. It can be something great, but it can also be a weapon if used poorly. So be responsible and be safe! Don’t text and drive!