Texting and driving is a big “NO!”
Today more and more people rely on their cell phones. Additionally, the more that people become dependent on their phones, the more dangerous the roads get. Teens generally make excuses as to why they use their phones to text and drive such as, “It was important,” and “I had to text my mom.”
The three seconds it takes to send a text are the three seconds it takes to get into a life-threatening car accident. Eleven percent of all drivers under the age of 20 involved in fatal crashes were reported as distracted at the time of the crash.
There are many pledges available for teens to take.
“Pledges remind them of their values,” said high school faculty staff member Kristina Curtis. “Even parents can lead by example and not use their phone in the car.”
Police officer Jeremy Tipton stated that if drivers receive a text from someone and they get in a crash, the person who sent the text can be sued.
“If you know someone is driving simply don’t text them,” said Tipton.
Many teens are often tempted to text and drive.
“It’s mainly because we are in a hurry to answer someone and we are impatient,” said Woodmore senior, Lexey Holub.
Anyone who is in the car with someone and notices the driver is texting should do the right thing and take their phone. Pledge to not text and drive and promote others to pledge too. Think twice the next time you go to grab your phone while driving. Save a life.
This fall, Woodmore seniors, including Sarah Avers, Molly Post, Rebecca Sadoski and Ali Smathers, presented an anti-texting banner for students to put their mark on in an effort to advocate texting-free driving.
Students were encouraged to put their finger print on the banner as a pledge aimed at making the students safe drivers and making the school district a safer community.
Eighth grader Alex Moreno believes the students are guilty of texting. She feels nervous even when someone takes a phone call while she is a passenger.
Principal Jim Kieper also feels that students are very guilty of texting while driving in light of the fact that an older generation is more likely to take a phone call rather than send a text message.
Research shows that although the actual drivers may not like to admit they do, it’s more likely for young drivers to text than for anyone else to under similar circumstances.
A safety video was shown to further educate students during the high school lunch; however, due to technical problems, students had trouble viewing the presentation. The people in the video shared both past experiences and the long-term effects of texting and driving.
The administration hopes to show the texting video again later this year to encourage students not to become a statistic. The theme here is that a text message can wait, and if it can’t, drivers should pull over. A policeman may not be able to perceive a person glancing at his or her phone now and then. However, if drivers should crash, they would not only be caught, but they could also be mildly or even severely injured.
The responsibility belongs to everyone, and several students told Window To Woodmore staff members they believe there also needs to be increased attention brought to the issue from authority figures.
To prevent texting while driving, Woodmore senior Hunter Gregory suggested, “Law officials should be more observant of what teens are doing behind the wheel.”
Freshman Bailey Ratz said, “Officials need to put out more signs to stress how important it is to not text and drive.”
Junior Sarah Blausey added, “Parents should explain how bad and harmful texting and driving can be to their teens.”
Sophomore Parker Lowe said, “A bigger penalty should be enforced for those getting caught texting and driving.”
Woodmore poll results
During the month of October, a poll was given to a selection of students about texting and driving. When the information was reviewed by teacher Scott Smith’s statistics class, they found that 16 percent of sophomores that can drive admit to either sometimes or always texting and driving. Nineteen percent of juniors that can drive admit to sometimes or always texting and driving and 70 percent of driving seniors admit to either sometimes or always texting and driving.
The texting and driving poll was given during Academic Options to some sophomores, juniors and seniors on Oct. 9. Collectively, 49 sophomores took the survey, as well as 25 juniors and 48 seniors.
The survey shows as teens gain experience while driving they begin to exhibit less of a focus on the road and feel more capable of texting while driving.
This attitude may stem from what they have seen their parents do.
Out of 122 students surveyed, 50 percent of the students said their parents text and drive. By classes 46 percent of the sophomores’ parents text and drive, 56 percent of the juniors’ parents text and drive and 50 percent of the seniors’ parents text and drive.
Out of 62 males, only 40 percent of them feel safe when the driver is texting and driving and out of 59 females, only seven percent of them feel safe when the person behind the wheel is texting and driving.
(Story reprinted from Window To Woodmore, a student publication, with permission. Graphics are by Woodmore journalism students Nathan Krebs, Amber Young, Taylor Myerholtz and Elijah Edwards)