Texting while driving is never okay

Updated: May 20, 2019

As we enter spring break, remember do not text and drive — it is just as bad as drinking and driving.

By Meg Taylor, News Editor

As one of the leading causes of teen deaths, texting while driving needs to be seen in a harsher light, not as a harmless way to multitask.

Most people have done it — quickly glared down at their smartphone after they hear it buzz. Taking a few seconds to look down at a text combined with the extra seconds put towards replying to that text can result in the driver hitting another car, or worse. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), texting while driving is estimated to be equivalent to operating a vehicle under the influence of four beers and is six times more likely to cause an accident.

According to the DMV, “Every day, 9 people die in the U.S. because of distracted driving. It’s a growing epidemic … and it’s entirely preventable.” The department also stated that “more than 1,000 people are injured every day due to a distracted driver.”

The first thing people should think of when they text while driving, but unfortunately do not, is their own family and friends. Is that text they are about to read or send worth their own life? How would their loved ones feel knowing that their text is the cause of your death and/or others?

“My 19 year old sister was killed May 16th, 2009 in a car accident,” said Missouri resident Amanda Umscheid. “She was texting me when her truck entered the median. She over corrected and flipped end over end several times before being ejected. The guilt I feel everyday is a hard load to carry.”

There are many methods drivers can employ to help them avoid texting while driving. One option is to turn your sound off and put your phone in the back seat. This corresponds with the concept out of sight, out of mind.

Another option, for iPhone users, is to put their phone on Do Not Disturb. There is also an option of Do Not Disturb While Driving, which can be turned on automatically or added to the Control Center for quick access. This will block texts and calls to your phone while driving; therefore, eliminating temptations to check your phone. If you do not have an iPhone, you can simply just turn your cellphone off.

A text message is not worth a person's life. Using these simple methods can create vast change and prevent texting while driving tragedies worldwide.