Don’t Text and Drive

Jr. 2By Joaquin Lomeli Jr.

Texting while driving is dangerous; distracted drivers are to blame. Students should take steps to drive safely.

An estimated 421,000 people were injured in motor-vehicle crashes involving a distracted driver in 2011, according to U.S. Department of Transportation report dated April 2013. For drivers 15 to 19 years old—college aged— involved in fatal crashes, 21 percent of them were using their cell phones.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, five seconds is the average time a person’s eyes are off the road while texting. When traveling at 55 mph, that’s enough time to cover the length of a football field. During that time, a lot can happen.

“I do not try to text while my car is in motion,” said Daniel Costantini, College of Southern Nevada student. “I think this activity is done too much with the younger generation. This just shows how attached we are to our phones; we will risk our lives just to look at our phones.”

According to a 2013 study from the Yale School of Medicine, four-out-of-five college students have used their cell phones to send or receive text messages while driving.

“I feel like people who text and drive, in general, are not thinking about the safety of others,” said Stephanie Lyte, CSN student. “We all know the dangers associated with texting and driving yet people still manage to do them.”

As of February 2013, there are 33 states and D.C. that have laws in place restricting cell-phone use while driving, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ website.

In Nevada, a law was passed January 2012 that makes texting, accessing the Internet and using hand-held cell phones while driving illegal.

“I do not text and drive,” said Joanna Jimenez, CSN student. “I do not believe a text is so important to put myself and others in danger by being careless.” No text message is worth a life.

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