Distracted Driving: All It Takes Is One Slip-up

Photo by Matt Dalton in the parking lot at Rockland High School

Matt Dalton, Veritas Staff

One wrong turn, one misread sign, or one glance down at your phone could completely change your life or even take it away from you all together.

And for what? A stupid text message that means absolutely nothing in the grand scheme of things.

Texting and driving has already affected so many lives across the nation and will continue to do so until something more is done to put a stop to it.

The National Safety Council reports that texting and driving accounts for over 1.6 million crashes per year. Also, tests show that answering a text takes away your attention for about five seconds. Traveling at 55 mph, that’s enough time to travel the length of a football field.

Students at RHS seem to think nothing of texting while driving and admit to being guilty of it themselves.

“I trust myself and the person driving even if they are using their phone while driving, although if they really aren’t looking, I’m definitely more inclined to speak up and say something,” said one senior.

If the practice of texting while driving doesn’t cost you your life then it may take a hefty chunk out of your pocket.

Officer Rodgers of the Rockland Police Department says that he gives about 10 citations a year to people that are texting behind the wheel, and at 105 dollars a piece that could really add up.

Officer Rodgers gave advice for kids that continue to text and drive. “You are not only putting your life in danger, but also the lives of others.”

Something may not have happened yet, but if you look down at your phone at the wrong time in the wrong place you might not look up. One out of every four crashes in the United States is directly linked to the use of cellphones.

Many citizens might think that “it could be worse; I could be driving drunk.”

But other studies show that distracted driving is actually far more dangerous than driving under the influence of any sort of mind-altering substances.

With Valentine’s Day today many people on the road will be scurrying around to get presents or make it to their reservations on time.

Paint a picture in your mind: You are driving home from work to spend the night with that special person in your life. You

are running late so you decide to text them and let them know, but that text is never sent, and you never arrive.

So, put the phone down while behind the wheel. It can wait.

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