Texting while driving; deadly combo

By Jessica Wegelin
September 3, 2009

Shannon Keough

Everyone has an unhealthy addiction that they just can’t seem to escape.

Of course, I have my occasional drink but I wouldn’t exactly call that an unhealthy addiction, at least not yet.

However, the addiction that I can’t seem to break is texting.

For me and the other estimated 1.6 million young adults who seem to have the same problem, the worst part of this addiction is texting while you’re driving. That’s when this becomes unhealthy.

Not only is it unhealthy but it is life threatening not just to you but also for everyone else on the road.

Cell phones have become increasingly popular over the past 10 years and accidents where cell phones are involved are just as popular.

In a study released in July 2007, 900 teens from 26 different high schools nationwide, exposed that text messaging while driving is just as risky as drinking and driving.

Each year, approximately 21 percent of deadly car accidents involving teenagers were the result of cell phone use. This result has been projected to grow as much as 4 percent each year.

Statistics are interesting to read about but what I wonder was how many other young adults actually take them seriously?

It wasn’t the statistics that made me think twice about texting while driving, it was the Texting While Driving Public Service Announcement that was released in the UK and quickly spread all over YouTube that really scared me.

This PSA is so graphic and disturbing that it is not being shown in its entirety on United States TV.

However, there are over 1 million hits for this more than four-minute video on YouTube.

Just like many fictional characters that die in PSAs about the dangers of things such as drugs and drinking, the ending of the texting while driving PSA resulted in a horrific closing.

It shows what could happen if you take your eyes off the road for just a quick second.

It is the story of a nice teen girl who kills four people because she decided to look at her phone instead of paying attention to the road.

Watching that PSA, it really hit home because I pictured myself in that situation and it sent chills up my spine.

I always think about my friends saying, “We are professionals at driving and texting,” but it honestly takes one time for you to ruin the rest of your life, along with others.

I felt myself asking the question, is reading a text message really worth killing the people you love along with innocent drivers?

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Jessica Wegelin

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