When hearing the words “texting and driving,” one automatically thinks of the
potential effects of this action. The split second that the driver glances down at their phone could make the difference between life and death
, because they are oblivious to oncoming traffic. Even when at a red light, or a long empty road, one cannot be completely certain that there are no other cars headed their way. Everyone knows the dangers, and everyone has heard of how precarious it is to text and drive, but how many people can actually appreciate the severity of the consequences? How many can say that they have met someone who can no longer walk, because they were texting
“LOL” as their spinal cord was severed by an oncoming 18-wheeler they did not see. Unfortunately, until someone experiences the devastating effects of texting and driving first hand, most people donʼt appreciate the severity of this problem. In 2011, 23 percent of collisions were caused by distracted drivers on their cell phones. That equates to 1.3 million crashes. The shortest amount of time a driver could be distracted by their phone is five seconds. If the person was driving at 55mph, it would be as if they drove the length of a football field without looking at the road. To make matters worse, 77 percent of drivers are confident they can securely text while driving, and 55 percent claim it is easy to text while they drive. Not only do teenagers do this, but adults are guilty as well. Twenty-eight percent of teens have witnessed their parents driving while talking on a cell phone. People justify these actions by stating that reading a text is better than sending one; however, nothing could be further from the truth. Any distraction while driving is dangerous and should clearly be avoided. Last year the Hebrew Academy JUMP team partnered with the City of Miami Beach to create a campaign for no texting and driving. The slogan proclaimed, “It Can Wait.” The veracity of this claim cannot be disputed. As a society, we need to be more active in advocating the dangers of texting and driving. What better place could we begin this awareness than right here at home in our school? Let us all make the effort to resist the temptation to send that text. Let us all make a promise to ourselves, our children, our parents, friends, and loved ones that we will not allow our addiction to texting to be the cause of a horrific life-altering, or life-ending accident. However important you may think that text is, please believe me when I tell you: it can wait.
Written By: Aliza Posner