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Advocate Editorial Board opinion: Put your cellphone away when traveling

By By the Advocate Editorial Board
Dec. 18, 2013 at 6:18 a.m.


As Christmas approaches, people across the nation are getting ready to hit the road and drive to visit family and friends.

But as drivers hit the road, we hope they will remember to be safe and do whatever is possible to avoid distracted driving. Traffic volume during the holidays tends to increase, which means crowded roads with lots of people, animals and things packed into vehicles of all sizes. Often, the view through back windows is obscured by luggage, presents and other objects.

The increase in traffic alone is a potential hazard for drivers, but adding distractions can be a deadly decision, especially if the distraction is something that requires drivers to look away from the road. That is why it is important for drivers to make sure they do not text and drive or use cellphones while on the road. It is true, Texas does not have a state law that limits the use of cellphones while driving, but many cities have adopted ordinances aimed at making roads safer.

The issue of texting and driving is one that has received pervasive coverage in the national and international media. In 2009, a graphic public service announcement aired in the United Kingdom depicting a wreck caused by a teenage driver texting and crossing into oncoming traffic. More recently, country music artists Tim McGraw, Taylor Swift and Keith Urban collaborated on the song "Highway Don't Care," which features a texting and driving wreck in the music video. McGraw and other stars are taking part in a national campaign called "It Can Wait." In the campaign, drivers take a pledge to not text and drive. The pledge begins with this statement: "No text message, email, website or video is worth the risk of endangering my life or the lives of others on the road."

We couldn't agree more. Texting and driving is a dangerous, selfish decision that puts lives at risk. The holidays are meant to be a happy time when people visit family and friends. Texting and driving can turn the holidays into a time of tragedy. So do whatever you can to prevent distractions and driving. No text is worth your life or the lives of others.

This editorial reflects the views of the Victoria Advocate's editorial board.

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