Curb the Urge

textingTexting is instantaneous, simple, and gratifying. It satiates a nearly unquenchable desire to remain socially connected whether you’re suffering through a brutal class, watching an exhilarating World Cup match, or even participating in a pick-up basketball game. While texting brings loads of good to our social lives, there is one time during which texting is simply moronic—while driving.

Plenty of kids do it. We think it’s easy, that the fear of texting while driving is a petty reflection of our parents’ technological ignorance, and that nothing bad could ever happen to us. The problem with that line of thinking is that although you may have done it and lived to talk about the experience (my friends and I all have), it only takes one mishap. What happens when the person driving opposite you is texting as well? What happens when you encounter someone who’s just having a bad day and can’t focus on the road? You may trust yourself to text and drive, but when you can’t control other variables you’re taking a huge risk.

How huge, you may wonder, (and hopefully should after reading the previous paragraph) are the risks of texting and driving? The University of Utah equates using a cell phone while driving to drunk driving. That’s right. After a rigorous testing process, researchers at the school determined that texting while driving is just as great a threat as drunk driving—a problem schools and parents combat far more fiercely. Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick recently signed a bill banning texting while driving. There are plenty of other mind-blowing statistics out there as well. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety says drivers using cell phones are four times more likely to get into a serious accident.

However, the problem is that we tend to disregard these facts and reports as scare tactics. So, my dear readers and texting aficionados, be smart when you’re on the road. Is reading that text now as opposed to five minutes later really worth it? How would the person who texted you feel if they knew you crashed because you wanted to know what they had to say? You may not want to listen to redundant warnings, but your life and the lives of others on the road are literally in your hands. So use your brain, and make the right choice.

-Gabi P. Remz, YMH Summer Writing Intern