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Stop the texts, stop the wrecks.

Imagine driving down a highway or a busy road, and you feel your cell phone go off in your pocket. You reach down into your pocket and see it’s a snap from your crush as of 8:09 this morning. Without being aware of your surroundings, you respond in a heartbeat. Now imagine yourself being helped out of your car by an emergency crew because you were just in an accident. Ask yourself, was the message even worth it? Was it worth responding to?

Nearly 8,000 people are killed in crashes involving drivers ages 16-20. Road crashes are the single greatest annual cause of death to healthy U.S. citizens. According to the Triple A foundation of traffic safety around five thousand people are killed every year because of distracted driving and it is the cause of 16% of all fatal crashes an estimated additional 400,000 are injured every year in crashes involving distracted drivers.

Most people openly admit to texting while driving and believe it’s no big deal because it won’t happen to them, but it can happen to anyone. They say “it’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey”, but how can you enjoy the journey when your destination is a face of airbag and blood dripping down your face. So how can we stop distracted driving? Simply turn off your phone and put it away. If you’re a passenger and your family or friend is a distracted driver, speak out to them and tell them “it can wait”.

My father believes he is the best multitasker. He’ll be steering with his left hand and playing Candy Crush with his right. However, University of Utah researcher and national expert Dr. David Strayer has said, “the brain just doesn’t work the way we’d like it to work, we can’t multitask the way that a lot of people think they can”. With that being said, my father who claims to be the best at multitasking has gotten into a car accident, for playing Candy Crush while driving.

So I leave you with this, a quote from Ray LaHood of the Secretary of Transportation he has said “we hope to everyone receives loud and clear the safest way to get from one place to is to hang up and drive. Powering down your cell phone when you’re behind the wheel can save lives maybe even your own”. No one should be a victim of distracted driving. One text or call could wreck it all. Stop the texts, stop the wrecks.

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