Thursday, September 18, 2008

Driving and texting

I logged onto my computer today thinking of what to write. At that exact moment, I saw an intriguing article on my homepage. According to research, texting while driving is actually more dangerous than being under the influence of drugs or alcohol. That's so shocking to me. Usually, when someone is under the influence of drugs or alcohol, their mental state is off balance, and they have a minimal amount of self-control, if any. It seems strange to me that pressing a few buttons on a cell phone while driving is more fatal than the actions of a drunk driver.

Research done for the RAC Foundation has shown that a texter’s steering control was 91% worse than normal, as opposed to 35% when the driver is on drugs. Research also shows that the texting driver glides into other lanes without notice more often. Apparently, when someone reads the small text on the phone and starts to think about what to respond, it lessens their reaction time because they’re so focused on their text message.

At first, I thought, “Oh, what’s the big deal?” but then I saw this video and realized that this is actually a huge deal. The engineer of the train in Los Angeles could have potentially saved himself and all of the injured people on that train had he been paying attention rather than texting. No message is important enough to risk your life for. Texting while driving is just another destructive decision. It can wait. I like being alive, so I can honestly say I will not be texting when I’m driving. It just isn’t worth it.


Katya said...

Liz, I totally understand how freaked out you are. I was driving with Gina and she was texting and she veered into another lane. I almost had a heart attack.. we were THIS CLOSE to getting completely wrecked. I think they need to make it illegal to text and drive like they did with talking on your cell... it would definitely make the roads a lot safer.

Jamie Fay T said...

Liz this is a great blog with a very relevant topic! I agree with what you and Katya have said. I've even seen PARENTS text on the phone while driving and it's uncomfortable to ask them to stop, but I really do feel unsafe. I think more needs to be done to educate people on exactly how dangerous texting while driving is. For me, even hearing my phone vibrate while I'm driving makes me curious about what my new text message says so now I try to remember to silence my phone while I drive. At the end of the day, whatever it is can wait. When you're driving it is critical to concentrate completely and make sure you and those around you are safe.

dglinberg said...

Wow, I had no idea that texting could be this dangerous!