Driving In-TEXT-icated


Ashley Rojas, Writer

What comes to mind when getting behind the wheel of the car? Adjusting the seat and mirrors? Checking the gas level? Certainly not posting on Snapchat or Instagram story, right? Wrong.

According to TeenSafe.com, “2.35 million people in the U.S. are injured or disabled by car crashes every year. More than 330,000 of these crashes that cause severe injury are caused by texting and driving.”

So, why do people continue to put themselves in potentially dangerous situations when they fully know how dangerous it is? The answers pretty simple: the media. Social media has drilled the idea that driving and using one’s phone is “okay” or an “ordinary occurrence.” In reality, it’s not. It’s dangerous and reckless and needs to stop.

The Indiana General Assembly (IGA), one of the three co-equal branches of state government, recently passed House Bill 1017 with a vote of 86-10. The bill prohibits drivers under the age of 18 from holding their phone while driving, unless it is hands-free or voice operated technology. Anyone who violates this law will first be fined a maximum of $35.50. Second-time offenders will be fined $250.50. Drivers with two or more violations will be fined up to $500. So, let’s not text and drive, shall we?

It’s very common to use one’s phone for music while driving, plugging in the phone to the AUX cord to listen to favorite songs. But, that’s actually really dangerous and reckless. It could cause an accident that could be fatal. TeenSafe.com notes, “It only takes three seconds for a crash to occur after a driver becomes distracted by their cell phone or anything else.”

The average time it takes for someone to check their phone while driving is five seconds. Imagine going 50 miles an hour and taking one’s eyes off the road for five seconds, that distance is equivalent to a football field. Let that sink in. Now, imagine there was another car on the opposing lane. Those five measly seconds could cost someone his or her life.

Whether it’s your life or someone else’s, it will cause a lifetime of regret and pain for those left behind. It’s a shame that a law had to be created to dictate common sense. So, let’s just follow the law; it’s there for our safety. Who can afford not to?