The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Texting cost $600, could be worse

Viewpoint by Heather Bench/reporter

A University of Utah study that placed college students in a driving simulator found they were eight times more likely to crash while texting than when they weren’t.

The same study revealed texting drivers took their eyes off the road about five seconds.

According to a Virginia Tech Transportation Institute study focusing on truck drivers, five seconds is enough time at typical highway speeds to cover more than the length of a football field.

Last week, I took what I thought was just a few moments to send a text while driving. The next thing I know, my car was on top of a curb.

While I didn’t crash, my car’s alignment was damaged. The rims on my two front wheels had to be replaced along with other parts under the hood.

The cost: $600. That was a small cost to what it could have been.

News reports of a fatal car accident earlier this year in New York said a high school graduate had been texting a friend before crashing into an oncoming trailer and killing the four people in the vehicle.

That accident led New York Sen. Carl Marcellino to propose a bill making it illegal to send a text while driving. That bill was passed and signed into law. Lawmakers from various states and cities are proposing similar legislation.

Texting while driving has become a growing problem that we see on suburban streets and busy freeways. 

Just as I did before I hit that curb, people swerve in and out of lanes when they text and drive because they are not paying attention. They look down for longer periods of time than they would if they were simply talking on the phone. An alternative to talking is using a headset. The only alternative to texting is not doing it.

Despite the risks, people are texting more. Wireless phone users sent and received an average of 2,272 text messages a month in 2008, The New York Times reported while researching teens and texting. That’s almost 80 messages a day, more than double the average of a year earlier.

It also showed that almost half of all teens and young adults send text messages while driving, increasing the chances of an accident.

Bottom line, it’s not a good idea to text in the car. Put the phone down and drive.

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