The Moment It All Changed: Why I Stopped Texting and Driving
When someone makes the decision to text and drive, they are not only risking their own safety, but everyone else on the road that day. They could hurt or kill other drivers, passengers, and pedestrians. If that were to happen, imagine how guilty the person on the other end of the phone would feel. Not only does the texting driver put themselves in the position to feel guilt for hurting and killing others, but the person the driver can’t seem to quit texting could now feel partially responsible for the accident.
That is a heavy burden to place on someone else. Furthermore, if someone hits another person because they were texting, not only does it hurt the victim, but it hurts the victim’s family. Now that family has to deal with the grief and medical bills and emotional pain.
Now let’s flip the tables. Suppose the texter is the one that was injured in the crash, they are now seriously injured or dead because they were too distracted by a hunk of plastic to pay attention and be a responsible driver.
And then, not only does the driver have to deal with the physical pain (if they even survive,) but they have to deal with the medical bills and the car damages. On top of that, they have caused their own family immeasurable amounts of grief, pain, and distress. And again, the person on the other end of the text may feel responsible for the driver’s irresponsibility.
When someone is driving, they are not just risking their own safety they risk the well-being of everyone on and off the road. Texting while driving is selfish. Texting while driving is unacceptable; there are no excuses. If the conversation is really that important, a quick phone call before getting behind the wheel is faster and easier than texting anyway. A lot can happen in the few seconds it takes to read that text: unforeseen road conditions, animals crossing, a sudden traffic stop, or a turn in the road. Anything can happen when the driver’s eyes are not on the road.
The first and last time I ever attempted texting while driving was enough for me to vow never to do it again. I was on my way to a friend’s house up a canyon, turned my attention to my phone for what seemed like a millisecond, and in that time, I swerved into a row of bushes and almost ended up in someone’s yard. Luckily for me, the biggest damage done was a cracked side mirror. But like I said, that was lucky. It was in that moment that I realized it doesn’t take long to get into trouble when your attention is not on the road. Most texting while driving mishaps will not end this well. I could have crashed into an orchard or someone’s house. I could have driven off the edge of the canyon road and died. Many people, I’m sure, have done similar things because they couldn’t figure out that just because they have texted while driving before without problems does not mean it is any less dangerous. Every day is a new day with different circumstances. Any moment could be the last before disaster strikes. Why risk that disaster being your own fault and causing pain to everyone around you. Texting while driving is never safe; it is never excusable; it is never without risk. Put the phone down. It can wait.