LET­TER RIP

Tex­ting, Speed­ing and be­ing an Id­iot does not mix.

Public News (Houston) - - NEWS -

Dear Read­ers, It's that time of year again, Spring Break. With that event, you can bet that thou­sands, if not tens of thou­sands, of young col­lege stu­dents will be mak­ing their way to the Texas coast and by most es­ti­mates, trav­el­ing though the Hous­ton area.

Traf­fic con­cerns set aside, the one thing that I must ad­dress is the is­sue of tex­ting while driv­ing. I re­cently read a study that showed 97% of fe­male driv­ers and 98% of male driv­ers be­lieved that tex­ting while driv­ing was wrong and/or dan­ger­ous. The study did not in­di­cate the age range of those in­ter­viewed.

How­ever, 60% of fe­male driv­ers and 50% of male driv­ers still text while driv­ing. How is it that an al­most unan­i­mous agree­ment about tex­ting and driv­ing does not trans­late into ac­tual prac­tice? Is there a huge dis­con­nect be­tween what we be­lieve about the prac­tice verses what we ac­tu­ally prac­tice? Ab­so­lutely.

Young driv­ers are es­pe­cially dis­con­nected. Do they think that if they were to rear end a sit­ting car while they drove at 65 mph in a 45 mph zone while dis­tracted while they texted their boyfriend/girl­friend are some­how not im­mune to death or at least se­ri­ous life­long dis­abil­ity?

Tex­ting while driv­ing is an id­iots gam­ble with fate. Id­iots al­ways lose this game.

It's too late to tell that to Amanda (a name we will use) who plowed into the back of a car in the left turn lane of a state high­way. She killed the two small chil­dren in the back of that car along with their mother, who was driv­ing and paral­ysed their fa­ther who was in the pas­sen­ger side of the car. Need­less to say Amanda was also killed. Her cell phone was in the man­gled mess of her car. Some­how the au­thor­i­ties de­ter­mined that she was tex­ting at the time of the ac­ci­dent. There were no drugs or al­co­hol in­volved and the roads were dry. The ac­ci­dent was at night, and both ve­hi­cles had work­ing lights. Amanda was not pay­ing at­ten­tion. She was will­fully dis­tract­ing her­self with her phone. Four dead peo­ple be­cause some­one could not put her phone down for the du­ra­tion of her drive.

Here is a novel idea, how about turn­ing your no­ti­fi­ca­tions off on your phone and then plac­ing your phone in the glove box. Who knows how many lives that might save. Even your own. Think hard about it.

Ken Petty

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