Texting and Driving


Seth Ottman and Gavin Tiefenauer

“Putting the brakes on the texting and driving epidemic will require both dedication and creative thinking, and the FCC is committed to doing its part to address this growing crisis.”

– FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski

Texting and driving is an epidemic that is happening not only throughout the United States, but also right here at our school. However, texting is only the half of the problem. Anytime that you take your eyes off of the road it becomes a distraction. Things could change at any moment in front of you while you are not looking. Out of all accidents caused by a distraction, texting is the most common case. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention “Each day more than 15 people are killed and 1,200 people are injured from a car crash caused by texting and driving.” In 2009 the National Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) conducted research on texting and driving deaths. They concluded that 5,474 people died in the U.S. from accidents involving texting drivers, and an additional 448,000 people were injured in an accident involving texting drivers, and the numbers are rising.

Teens are more likely to get into an accident than adults because they are less experienced drivers. However, a teen’s habits while driving could also be caused by their parent’s habits. Studies show that children pick up their parents’ habits. Many of the teens who text and drive say that their parents do it as well. Texting and driving is like driving while blindfolded. The average person can type and send a text message in about 4.6 seconds. At 55mph that means they would drive the length of a football field without looking.

The students of our school had a major reaction to the presentation by AT&T’s representative and speaker from the Missouri State Highway Patrol. Everyone participated in a survey and about 90% of our students said that they had been in a car with someone who was texting and driving. No one in the auditorium said that texting and driving was right. Many of us pledged to never text and drive. Together hopefully we can stop this epidemic.

Texting and driving is happening here and everywhere. AT&T is raising awareness to help slow down the epidemic with their “It Can Wait” initiative. If you have not pledged , you can text: MOATTICW to the number: 464329…but not while you are driving! You can also go to http://www.itcanwait.com/ . If you don’t think that you can resist the urge to text and drive, get into the habit of putting your phone in the trunk or in a place where you cannot reach it.