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Cellphones spell disaster when driving while texting

June 30, 2011 at 1:30 a.m.


The Victoria Advocate will be publishing guest columns from students attending Victoria College. These columns will appear occasionally during the next few weeks. We welcome letters and columns from all students.

"The cellular phone has brought with it many conveniences and luxuries.

However, when it comes to road safety, the cellular phone may be considered a hazard," according to texting-while-driving.org's article "Beware the Dangers of Texing While Driving."

Text messaging comes in handy allowing a cellphone user to relay significant or insignificant messages instantaneously.

Driving in itself is a risk - texting while driving increases that risk causing an increased amount of distraction on the driver, fatal accidents and even trouble with the law.

There are a lot of distractions on the road while driving; texting while driving has recently become one of those vast disturbances. When most people text and drive, they are taking their complete attention and focusing it on the message.

Without a cellphone, other distractions are already apparent, such as children who may be in the car, billboards, a new building coming up, pedestrians and animals crossing the road.

Those distractions are just a few to mention.

In addition to those, text messaging takes both eyes off the road, one hand or maybe even both hands off the steering wheel, leaving everyone in the car in complete danger.

"In 2009, 867 fatal crashes were reported to have involved cellphones as a means for driver distraction," according to Edgarsnyder.com and its article "Car Accident Cell Phone Statistics."

Also, because of the distraction from texting while driving, fatal accidents have occurred. While texting, attention is taken away visually, manually and cognitively, leaving the driver with nothing else but a few seconds to look up and pay attention or redirect if any other driving responsibilities occur. With only those few seconds to regroup, a fatal accident can, and in some cases, has happened.

"Statistics from the American Automobile Association show that car and traffic accidents are the leading cause of death of people between the ages of 15 to 20 years old," according to Courtney H. Perry, who wrote the article "Texting While Driving Suspected Cause of Fatal Car Crash."

With the above statistic and with driving already being a risk in itself, texting definitely increases the risk of a fatality.

Moreover, texting while driving is not completely banned in all states but is in 30 states. "While an additional eight states have banned text messaging for novice drivers and two states have banned test messaging for school bus drivers," according to the website texting-while-driving.org.

The laws allow those who text and drive to be penalized.

In most school zones, all cellphone use is prohibited, prompting people to keep their attention on the roads where children are most vulnerable. If one is caught texting while driving in these restricted areas, a ticket may be issued.

Finally, although cellphones do bring a lot of amenities to today's technology-filled generation, it also brings a lot of grief if texting while driving.

With messages being sent and received immediately, the driver is nothing but anxious to read or deliver the message.

Texting while driving has caused extreme distraction, deadly accidents and dilemmas with law enforcement.

As Oprah Winfrey said, "No one needs to die today or be paralyzed or maimed today because you were distracted by your phone while driving."

Nathan Pedraza was a Victoria College English student during the spring semester.

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