Ignoring The Dangers Of Texting While Driving
I was driving carpool today. As I crossed the intersection, it was clear that the girl driving the car next to me was texting. I could see her thumbs attacking the keys and her gaze shifting up and down from the road to the keyboard. The onset of road rage started to grow. I wanted to honk at her, roll down my window and scream at her or pull over a cop and tell him to chase her. Her irresponsible behavior could end up hurting her. But distracted driving could also end up hurting someone I love.
Do you text and drive? When you notice another driver texting, do you get worried? How about if you are a passenger in a car while the driver is texting?
I’m not a legal driver yet. I have, however, been in a car as a passenger when the driver was texting. I would’ve said something, but the driver was my friend’s Dad. It was an occasion where I just didn’t feel comfortable telling him to put his phone down. I was actually kind of bothered by the whole experience though. Why is this father going to endanger the lives of his son and his son’s friend by texting? I mean come on! Most likely, the info contained in the text message was probably not that important and could’ve waited. He chose, however, to try to drive and read the text and then reply all at the same time. It was just kind of a disturbing experience.
In all honesty, the only way I could be completely prevented from distracted driving would be to not bring my phone in the car. Every time I enter the car, I fear the damage I can cause. I realize that it is sheer stupidity for me to keep my eyes off of the road. Despite this, every once in a while my eyes flicker to my hand holding an open phone with a text on it. Perhaps it has become second nature for me to open my phone and look when it buzzes. I know that doesn’t justify my actions.
There’s also this mad curiosity and sense of urgency to find out what someone felt the need to say to me. Regardless, I’d say that texting is the most dangerous of all distractions on the road next to fiddling with the radio. Not only am I not looking at the road, but also my concentration is full focused on something completely different. I usually do not mess with the radio, so that’s not as big of an issue, however I am just as wired to flip open my phone when it rings as anyone else.
Texting and Driving
Personally, and I’m sure others agree, not having my phone on me simply won’t happen. Therefore to combat the issue, I store away my phone somewhere in the car, even in the deep pocket on the inside of the car door. Although I can still hear it, the fact that it is more difficult to grab forces me to think. I placed my phone there for a reason, and reaching for it would be outrageously stupid. Having that in mind makes it easier for me to accept that I can simply check what’s on my phone when I stop driving.
Yeah, I feel like the texting while driving is a touchy subject nowadays because literally EVERYONE does it (minus people who don’t have cell phones and people who have been scared straight). Maybe not all the time, or just when the driver parks or stops at an intersection, but I feel like the majority of people do text while driving at some point in their day.
I don’t think I have been in a car lately with someone who hasn’t had their phone right next to them. Or in their hands. It’s a scary reality. But I almost feel like it is just part of a cell phone reliant society. It is just as bad as eating, putting on make-up, talking on the phone, fumbling with temperature or music controls. Or dealing with rowdy kids, or just being angry while driving. The only difference is the number of people who text everyday while driving is MUCH higher. Therefore, the number of families and people who are getting hurt is MUCH higher.
When I am in a car with someone driving and texting I usually judge if I should be afraid or not based on how well they are doing. Personally, I try not to text and drive – especially when I have passengers. But I am not going to lie. I can’t say that have never done it before, or I won’t ever do it again.
I have to admit. I’m guilty too. I never initiate a text but I’ve also found myself checking that occasional text when my phone buzzes, and even sending back a one word reply while driving. I’d like to think it only happens at a red light. But that too is probably not accurate.
I, like most of your friends, think I’m being careful, I’m aware of traffic, nothing will happen. But that’s stupid, and I’m really done.
Ryan, the fact that I might make you or your friends uncomfortable, or that someone would feel unsafe driving with me has really made it’s point. I will either wait until I’m done driving or if the urge is too bad, I’ll pull over to check the text.