Have you ever just turned the radio on, set your car to a comfortable temperature and just cruised to your destination without a care in the world? Have you ever had to slam on your brakes because someone else was distracted?
In a 2016 article by the Huffington Post, Liz Marks, a 17-year-old, picked up her phone for just a second while driving. The resulting crash meant she had to relearn how to speak, walk, read and write.
The article said she was lucky to be alive. What was the text message she received that reshaped her life? “OK.”
“I thought I was invincible,” Marks said in the article. “But obviously, I was completely wrong.”
Youngstown State University is still largely a commuter school, and people tell plenty of stories about how they almost got into an accident or how they unfortunately did have a collision. Usually, the excuse is they or the other driver were not paying attention while they were driving.
We’re taught that driving is easy- that it’s the other people you need to watch out for- but that’s not always necessarily true. When you have a driver’s license long enough to get comfortable on the road, you have to be careful not to get too comfortable and complacent.
When your phone is lighting up with texts, emails, snapchats and more, it’s important to remember that it’s a serious distraction and should be left until you get to your destination. If it’s that important, something to be answered right away, find a place to pull over. Looking at a phone while driving puts everyone’s lives in danger.
According to the DMV, 26 percent of all car crashes in 2014 involved cell phones. At least nine people are killed daily because of distracted driving, while more than 1,000 people are injured.
It’s not only drivers that cause accidents. People on foot who aren’t paying attention may step off a curb without looking, which forces a car to either swerve, slam on the brakes or hit the pedestrian if they are too close.
There are many campaigns that bring awareness to texting and driving, but with technology always at our fingertips all we can do is attempt to pay attention when others aren’t.